- Allegations a 17-year-old was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew erased
- Virginia Roberts had attempted to join lawsuit against the U.S. government
- The women were trying to reopen a federal non-prosecution agreement
- A judge today struck her and a second woman's claims from court records
- He said the details had no bearing on the attempt to reopen prosecution
Allegations that a 17-year-old was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew have been sensationally erased after his accuser Virginia Roberts' bid to join a lawsuit was rejected by a U.S. judge.
Roberts had claimed she was ‘loaned’ to sex offender financier Jeffrey Epstein’s wealthy friends after being groomed over a number of years by him.
She also claimed she had sex with Andrew on three separate occasions, including taking part in an orgy on Epstein’s private Caribbean island.
Today a federal judge in Miami rejected a bid by Roberts and another unnamed woman to join a high-profile sexual abuse lawsuit involving Epstein and ordered the scandalous sex allegations against The Duke of York and a prominent U.S. lawyer be struck out from the court record.
Prince Andrew pictured leaving an Easter service at Windsor Castle on Sunday. Allegations a 17-year-old was forced to sleep with him now been struck from court records
Virginia Roberts photographed with Prince Andrew in early 2001. Her claims she was forced to sleep with him have now been struck from the court record
The two women, identified in the decision only as Jane Doe 3 and 4, claimed to be among dozens of women Epstein sexually abused as teenagers at locations ranging from a Palm Beach mansion to a private Caribbean island to a sprawling New Mexico ranch.
They wanted to join a lawsuit filed by other alleged victims against the U.S. government, seeking to reopen a non-prosecution agreement Epstein reached with federal prosecutors.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra today ruled the sensational allegations against Andrew and well-known lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard Law School professor, to be stricken from the court record.
The judge did not comment on the veracity of the claims, but noted Roberts may yet be required to appear as a witness when the lawsuit goes to court.
Both denied any wrongdoing, with Dershowitz contending in his own court filings that Jane Doe 3 made up sex abuse stories involving him.
Jeffrey Epstein allegedly kept Virginia Roberts as a 'sex slave'
Buckingham Palace stood by Prince Andrew and vehemently denied the accusations.
Judge Marra said the sex abuse details had no bearing on the lawsuit's goal of reopening the Epstein non-prosecution agreement.
'The factual details regarding with whom and where the Jane Does engaged in sexual activities are immaterial and impertinent to this central claim,' the judge wrote. 'These unnecessary details shall be stricken.'
Epstein pleaded guilty more than six years ago to state sex offences and served a 13-month jail sentence, but could have received a much longer prison term if the Justice Department had brought charges.
The judge wrote that 'justice does not require amendment in this instance'.
Miami attorney David O. Markus, a former Dershowitz student and close friend, said the judge made the right decision.
'Judge Marra saw through all the noise and correctly found that this is a court of law, not a tabloid which prints first and looks for evidence later.
'These absurd allegations have no place in our legal system,' Markus, who is not involved in the case, said in an email.
Attorneys for the Jane Does did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment. They could appeal the decision.
Their lawsuit, filed by two other Jane Doe victims, claims federal prosecutors improperly concealed the Epstein non-prosecution agreement, violating federal victims' rights laws.
If it is reopened, Epstein could be exposed anew to federal prosecution and the U.S. government could be forced to pay the women damages.
Epstein has already reached out-of-court financial settlements with dozens of the victims.