Prince Andrew has been reported to the police in response to court documents released overnight.
The documents include accusations that Andrew sexually assaulted a minor while in London. The accusastions add that Ghislaine Maxwell "facilitated Prince Andrew's acts of sexual abuse..."
While the accusations are likely related to allegations previously made public by Virginia Guiffre, the newly released documents provide new insights and raise serious questions.
Campaign group Republic is demanding answers from the palace, police and politicians, saying the whole affair suggests the royals are beyond the law.
Explaining that new information has come to light, the report to the police raises wider concerns, saying:
"Inaction would exacerbate an already serious issue of victims of male violence being unwilling to report offences to the Metropolitan police, and would embolden offenders knowing the police will not take action against powerful individuals."
Graham Smith, Republic's CEO, said today:
"I have reported Andrew to the police, well aware that the Met claims to have looked into this before. To date there appears to have been no serious criminal investigation, no interview of the accused or other witnesses and no clear justification for taking no action."
"I am calling on the Met police to re-open this case, I am calling on MPs to debate this affair in parliament, and I am calling on Charles to make a public statement - in front of the press and taking questions - to respond to these allegations and what they say about the monarchy."
"How can we not expect a response from the government and head of state? At the time of the alleged offences Andrew was a government trade ambassador and an active member of the royal family. They fudged and obfuscated for 11 years before taking any definitive action."
"The government, police and palace all have questions to answer. Now is the time to start answering them."
"The question many people will be asking is simple: if the accused were anyone else, do we believe they wouldn't have been investigated and prosecuted"
The police report says:
A woman referred to in the US case regarding Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffery Epstein as Jane Doe #3 is reported to have been sexually abused and raped by Prince Andrew (Duke of York). This happened in a number of locations, including London.
It is believed, although uncertain, that this refers to Virginia Guiffre.
It is reported that "Epstein kept Jane Doe #3 as his sex slave from about 1999 through 2002"
And that "Epstein also sexually trafficked the then-minor Jane Doe, making her available for sex to politically-connected and financially-powerful people"
And that "one such powerful individual Epstein forced Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with was a member of the British Royal Family, Prince Andrew (a/k/a Duke of York). Jane Doe #3
was forced to have sexual relations with this Prince when she was a minor in three separate geographical locations: in London (at Ghislaine Maxwell’s apartment)"
And that "Epstein instructed Jane Doe #3 that she was to give the Prince whatever he demanded and required Jane Doe #3 to report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse. Maxwell
facilitated Prince Andrew’s acts of sexual abuse by acting as a “madame”"
I'm aware that the Met police has investigated historic sexual offencces going back thirty of forty years, and so it should be possible to pursue this matter to the courts.
I'm also aware that the Met claims to have looked at related allegations before. However, as far as I am aware there has been no formal criminal investigation in which Andrew or other witnesses have been questioned.
Given the seriousness of the incidents, the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell, Andrew's payment of an estimated £12m to Guiffre and the related accusations from other victims it seems there must be grounds for a full criminal investigation into these events and those involved.
Surely there is a wider issue of the impact on victims of allowing powerful men to act with impunity, and specifically there is surely evidence that there was a prolonged series of offences committed in London involving Maxwell and Epstein and numerous victims.
Inaction would exacerbate an already serious issue of victims of male violence being unwilling to report offences to the Metropolitan police, and would embolden offenders knowing the police will not take action against powerful individuals.
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