Prince Andrew says accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s sex assault suit against him should be tossed because she was 17 when she allegedly had sex with him — the legal age of consent in New York, new court papers show.
Giuffre sued Andrew in August claiming she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein and alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell to have sex with the royal at least three times in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands when she was just 17.
But in court papers filed Monday, the Duke of York argues there are constitutional issues with Giuffre’s suit because it was filed under the New York Child Victims’ Act.
The law allows victims age 18 and younger to bring claims against their abusers, though New York’s age of consent is 17, according to the filing in Manhattan federal court.
In a case where a 17-year-old alleges abuse, they must prove a lack of explicit consent or lack of consent by “implied threat” — which in Giuffre’s case would depend on unavailable third-party witness testimony, Andrew’s lawyers argue.
The prince says only four people were witness to the alleged abuse — the since-deceased Epstein, an incarcerated Maxwell, Andrew himself and Giuffre.
Giuffre’s CVA claims are “based solely on the unverified (and unverifiable) contention that they did not consent to those acts,” the court papers allege.
The royal’s lawyers also argue that since Giuffre claims some of the abuse occurred outside of New York, those claims should be tossed as they won’t hold up under CVA — which specifies the abuse had to have occurred within the Empire State.
Andrew additionally says that a secret settlement agreement that Giuffre signed with Epstein in 2009 in a lawsuit against the dead financier legally bars her from bringing claims against the royal.
“The release agreement, by its plain terms, embodies the parties’ intent to benefit directly and substantially a class of persons of which Prince Andrew is a member,” his lawyers argued in the filing.
A judge has already ruled the settlement agreement will remain sealed in Giuffre’s case against the prince.
Giuffre’s lawyers did not immediately return a request for comment.