The extent of Prince Andrew’s connection with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein will be exposed as thousands of secret documents are set to be released.
Last week, Epstein was charged with trafficking a “vast network of underage victims”, with girls as young as 14 involved.
Now, around 2,000 documents are going to be released from a 2015 US defamation case involving Virginia Roberts, a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein.
Virginia Roberts said was forced by Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, in London, New York, and the Caribbean.
In 2015, Ms. Roberts said she had been recruited as a “sex slave” by Epstein and groomed from the age of 15. Roberts said Ghislaine Maxwell – Epstein’s personal aide and a friend of the Duke – had procured her “for sexual activities”.
But a judge threw out all allegations against Prince Andrew, saying they were “immaterial and impertinent to the central claim” against Epstein.
Then Maxwell in an interview called Ms. Roberts a “liar”.
Roberts then sued Maxwell for defamation in the US, the case was settled and most of the court documents were sealed after legal representations from Maxwell.
However, in a ruling this month, Jose Cabranes, a US appeals judge, said the public’s right to know the content of the documents outweighed the privacy rights of people who wanted to keep them secret.
Days later, Jeffrey Epstein, 66, was charged with two sex trafficking charges.
Public records and flight logs for Epstein’s jet that have been obtained put Prince Andrew in the same place as Ms. Roberts on the three occasions she made the accusations.
The US prosecution is being handled by New York’s public corruption unit, which is raising further questions about how wide the net might be.
Barbara McQuade, a former US attorney, said: “It seems unusual to me that the public corruption unit would be investigating this case.
“That unit typically handles cases involving public officials.
“If Epstein were protecting any potential co-conspirators during his negotiations with Acosta, the public corruption prosecutors now have the leverage to find out.”
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