UK’s Prince Andrew ignores pretrial hearing in US sex abuse case, says he was served summons incorrectly

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Prince Andrew, the British royal accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, was not represented at a pretrial hearing in New York, with his lawyers saying he was improperly served papers.

The Duke of York was served legal papers late last month, ahead of a trial in which he is accused of sexual assault, battery and inflicting emotional distress on Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who also claims to have been abused by deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein when she was under the age of 18.

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The civil case began in New York on Monday with a pretrial hearing. However, court documents filed by Andrew’s legal team state that the disgraced prince is contesting the manner in which he was served the court summons, which was handed to police security outside the Royal Lodge in Windsor, England, instead of directly to Andrew by an agent of the crown.

Andrew was not going to be represented at the pretrial hearing, the Times reported, as doing so would have amounted to recognizing the summons.

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The Queen’s second son has denied ever having sexual relations with Giuffre and told the BBC in 2019 he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her. However, he has been photographed with his arm around Giuffre. 

Also present in the infamous photograph is Ghislaine Maxwell, a former girlfriend of Epstein and purported ‘madam’ who allegedly helped the notorious pedophile groom and abuse underage girls. Maxwell is currently held in a Manhattan jail awaiting her own criminal trial on sex trafficking charges, which is set to begin in November.

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