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U.K. police say they won't take action on sexual assault suit against Prince Andrew

The Metropolitan Police said it “continues to liaise with other law enforcement agencies" on matters related to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
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LONDON — British police said Monday that they would take no action after having reviewed a document related to a U.S. civil sexual assault lawsuit filed against Queen Elizabeth II's son Prince Andrew.

Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager, filed the suit in August in U.S. District Court for Southern New York. The suit alleges that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide in 2019 after he was arrested on federal sex trafficking charges, and his longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, compelled her to engage in sexual acts with Andrew 20 years ago.

She sued Andrew under New York state’s Child Victims Act alleging that he had committed “rape in the first degree.”

Andrew, the Duke of York, has always vehemently denied the allegations. In a 2019 interview with the BBC, he said he has “no recollection” of ever having met Giuffre. He also suggested that a photograph of them together with Maxwell could have been doctored.

The suit alleges that Andrew abused her at three locations — in London and New York and at Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, when she was under age 18. It mirrors claims that Giuffre, now 38, has previously detailed to NBC’s “Dateline.”

The Metropolitan Police, based in London, said in the statement that it “continues to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who lead the investigation into matters related to Jeffrey Epstein.”

Federal prosecutors in New York formally requested through the British government to speak with Prince Andrew in June 2020.Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP - Getty Images

The agency said that its investigation into the document, released in August, has concluded and that no action will be taken. Police also confirmed that they have ended their review of Maxwell and allegations reported by Britain’s Channel 4 in June that she trafficked, groomed and abused girls and women in the U.K.

Maxwell, who is British, is in jail in the U.S. awaiting trial on charges that she recruited teenage girls for Epstein to abuse. She pleaded not guilty in federal court this year and has long denied any wrongdoing. 

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said in August that “no one is above the law.”

The police department had previously looked into claims related to Epstein. After taking legal advice, it decided not to pursue further action because the activities alleged to be involved took place mainly outside its jurisdiction.

After the news of Monday’s decision emerged, the hashtags #abolishthemonarchy and #PrinceAndrew trended on social media, with some users suggesting that the police decided to forgo further action because of Andrew’s royal background.

Andrew, who is ninth in line to the throne, has said previously that he first met Epstein in 1999 and had stayed at a number of his residences but that he saw him infrequently. The controversy over their relationship and his disastrous interview on the BBC led him to step away from his royal duties in 2019.

In June 2020, federal prosecutors in New York formally asked to speak with Andrew through the British government as part of their criminal investigation into Epstein, a person familiar with the matter said. His attorneys responded that they had offered his help as a witness on at least three occasions.