Virginia Giuffre keeps winning various pre-trial motions in her lawsuit against Prince Andrew. On Friday, Judge Lewis A Kaplan released a written order that Andrew must turn over documents on a set schedule and not try to slow-walk proceedings. Judge Kaplan also rejected Andrew’s lawyers’ attempts to nitpick Virginia’s residence status – Andrew claimed that Virginia (an American citizen) couldn’t bring a lawsuit in American federal court because she lives in Australia. Virginia said that she maintains a residence in Colorado too, and the judge took her side. Now Virginia doesn’t have to provide “evidence” of her dual residency, which is what Andrew’s lawyers were demanding. Andrew’s lawyers have also been unable to provide any evidence or witnesses to Andrew’s malfunctioning sweat glands OR his trip to a Pizza Express in Woking on the night he raped 17-year-old Virginia at Ghislaine Maxwell’s home.
There’s a lot of energy now being focused on how things are looking pretty bad for Andrew in a dozen different ways. While his name wasn’t mentioned during Ghislaine Maxwell’s criminal trial, Maxwell’s conviction is being seen as a harbinger of doom for Andrew. Rightly so! Especially since it looks like Virginia might make a victim-impact statement at Ghislaine’s sentencing:
Virginia Giuffre – the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 – could be set to give a victim impact statement to a New York judge for the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell.
Although a number of accusers did not give evidence at the trial, the women will instead be given the chance to make a statement to Judge Alison Nathan, according to the Telegraph. One of them is said to be Ms Giuffre – known before her marriage as Virginia Roberts – who alleges having sex with Andrew three times in 2001, at a time when she was a teenager and under the control of Epstein. The Prince has denied the claims.
Victim impact statements are testimonies presented to the court which outline the effects of an offender’s actions. While guidelines and reports are what are primarily used to determine the length of sentence, a judge should also consider victim impact statements.
Sigrid McCawley, who represents Ms Giuffre, told the paper: ‘At the sentencing, I anticipate that there will be a lot of testimony from many, many other women who were not able to be heard at the trial, who will come forward and bring information about their suffering at the hands of Ghislaine Maxwell. I believe this will be considered by the court before Judge Nathan renders her decision on the length of time Ghislaine will serve behind bars.’
It comes amid claims that Buckingham Palace ‘sleepwalked’ into the Prince Andrew crisis and has been paralysed with indecision over to how to handle things. Senior royal insiders said the duke operated with ‘impunity’ as a member of the Royal Family because staff were ‘too scared’ to stand up to him. And they say the idea he could still return to public life, despite the swirling controversy around his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, must be quashed.
[From The Daily Mail]
Yes, the prosecution limited the scope of the criminal trial, which ended up being a smart choice because Maxwell was convicted of five out of six charges, and she’ll likely be sentenced to prison for the rest of her life anyway. Victim impact statements at sentencing don’t have the same burden of proof, and Virginia absolutely should give a statement.
As for Andrew… there’s a lot of energy in the UK about how Andrew just needs to settle out of court. Which is what I’ve been saying for months! It should have never gotten this far, from a “royal perspective.” Andrew should have settled with Virginia a long time ago.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and WENN.