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Prince Andrew to face sexual abuse trial in US

A US judge has rejected a bid by Britain's Prince Andrew to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him by a victim of Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring.

Virginia Giuffre accused the Duke of York of assaulting her some 20 years ago, when she was 17 years old, at the London property of convicted Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

His lawyers had argued that the lawsuit lacked specificity and was disqualified by a deal Giuffre reached in 2009 with lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein.

In the decision made public on Wednesday, Manhattan District Judge Lewis Kaplan said it was premature to consider the prince's efforts to cast doubt on Giuffre's accusations, though he would be allowed to do so at a trial.

Kaplan added that it was still unclear whether the settlement between Giuffre and Epstein released other parties, such as Prince Andrew, from legal liability.

The Duke of York has faced a stream of criticism over his friendship with Epstein, including monetary entanglements with the late financier.

Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking trial. Maxwell, 60, was recently convicted of sex trafficking and conspiracy charges in federal court in New York.

es/sms (Reuters, AP)