FILE - In this Sunday, April 11, 2021, file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew speaks. during a television interview at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor, England, Sunday, April 11, 2021. A lawsuit by an American who claims Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17 might have to be thrown out because she no longer lives in the U.S., lawyers for the Prince said in a court filing Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Prince Andrew effort to toss sex assault suit hits roadblock

Prince Andrew effort to toss sex assault suit hits roadblock

Prince Andrew effort to toss sex assault suit hits roadblock

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge was mostly dismissive Tuesday of arguments by a lawyer for Prince Andrew who wants to win fast rejection of a lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was sexually trafficked to the royal by the millionaire Jeffrey Epstein when she was 17.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan did not immediately rule at the end of a video conference, but he made clear that he was not leaning Andrew’s way as he rejected much of the reasoning offered by the prince’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, who said the case “should absolutely be dismissed.”

Kaplan repeatedly shot down Brettler’s arguments or disputed them with other reasoning.

“So what?” Kaplan responded to one argument.

To another, he said: “I understand you are asserting that, but it doesn’t mean it’s correct.”

And to another: “Mr. Brettler, I understand your point. It just isn’t the law.”

When the hearing concluded, Kaplan promised a ruling soon and said he appreciated the “arguments and the passion.” The judge directed that the exchange of potential evidence in the case was to proceed as scheduled.

Virginia Giuffre sued the prince in August, saying she was coerced into sexual encounters with the prince in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Attorney David Boies, representing Giuffre, argued against dismissal of the lawsuit.

Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking trial, while Maxwell, 60, was convicted last week of sex trafficking and conspiracy charges in federal court in New York. Giuffre’s allegations against Andrew were not a part of either criminal case.

The prince has strenuously denied Giuffre’s allegations.

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