An­drew ‘lob­bied for pedo Ep­stein’

Sunday Territorian - - WORLD -

NEWLY re­leased court files con­tain al­le­ga­tions the Duke of York lob­bied the US gov­ern­ment to se­cure Jef­frey Ep­stein a con­tro­ver­sial plea deal and es­cape more se­ri­ous charges.

The doc­u­ments claim that when Ep­stein faced a se­ries of al­le­ga­tions of sex­u­ally abus­ing mi­nors in Florida, the Queen’s son put pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment. The pe­dophile was jailed for 18 months in 2008.

The un­sealed tes­ti­mony also al­leges Ep­stein sent an un­der-age girl to have sex with Prince An­drew as part of an ef­fort to gather in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dence to black­mail him.

The prince has de­nied any wrong­do­ing, and when the case was orig­i­nally heard in 2015 a judge or­dered it to be struck from the record with­out rul­ing on its ve­rac­ity.

The al­leged vic­tim, re­ferred to as Jane Doe #3, who ap­peared to be Vir­ginia Roberts Gi­uf­fre, claimed she was told to “give the prince what­ever he de­manded” in en­coun­ters in Lon­don, New York and the Vir­gin Is­lands, then told to “re­port back to him (Ep­stein) on the de­tails of the sex­ual abuse”.

The doc­u­ments state that Ep­stein used his “sig­nif­i­cant so­cial and po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tions ... in­clud­ing ef­forts on his be­half by Prince An­drew”.

The claims, which ap­pear amid court pa­pers from a civil suit filed by the al­leged vic­tim against Ep­stein’s for­mer girl­friend and busi­ness as­so­ciate Ghis­laine Maxwell in 2015, were un­sealed by a fed­eral judge late on Thurs­day night. The case was set­tled.

A friend of the Duke called the al­le­ga­tion, “a straight­for­ward un­truth. No ifs, no buts.”

Ms Maxwell, 58, was ar­rested last month and pleaded not guilty to charges she groomed mi­nors for Ep­stein from 1994 to 1997. She had fought to stop the re­lease of the doc­u­ments.

Ep­stein killed him­self in a New York jail last Au­gust while await­ing trial on sex­traf­fick­ing charges. He was 66.

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