UK police won't act against Prince Andrew over abuse claim

Prince Andrew, 61, has been banished from public royal duties amid the scandal over his friendship with convicted pedophile Epstein, who was found dead in a federal detention center in New York in Aug 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges

Associated PressUpdated: Monday, October 11, 2021, 10:31 PM IST
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London: British police have announced they will not take any action against Prince Andrew after a review prompted by a Jeffrey Epstein accuser who claims that he sexually assaulted her.

Virginia Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew in London in 2001, when she was 17 and a minor under U.S. law. She is suing the prince in a U.S. court.

Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, denies the allegations. He told the BBC in a 2019 interview that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying: "It didn't happen." In August, London's Metropolitan Police force began a review of allegations connected to late convicted sex offender Epstein. Police chief Cressida Dick said at the time that "no one is above the law." The force said in a statement late Sunday that its "review has concluded and we are taking no further action." It also said it would take no action over allegations, first reported by Channel 4 News, that Epstein's alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, trafficked, groomed and abused women and girls in the U.K.

Maxwell, a British socialite, is in a U.S. jail awaiting trial on charges that she recruited teenage girls for Epstein to abuse.

The force said it is continuing to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who are leading the investigation into matters associated with Epstein.

After weeks of legal skirmishing, lawyers for Andrew acknowledged late last month that the prince had formally been served with Giuffre's lawsuit. The prince must file responses to the claims by Oct. 29.

Last week, a U.S. judge agreed for Andrew's lawyers to receive a copy of a 2009 settlement between Giuffre and Epstein that they believe will nullify the civil case against the prince.

Andrew, 61, has been banished from public royal duties amid the scandal over his friendship with convicted pedophile Epstein, who was found dead in a federal detention center in New York in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre has.

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