After intense days of deliberation, a Manhattan court found guilty of five sexual crimes against minors to Ghislaine Maxwell, British socialite and right-hand man of the American pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was also a couple. Now, Maxwell faces a possible 60-year prison sentence and, at the same time, strengthens a series of accusations against other close characters, including the prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
The 12 members of the jury heard 24 witnesses gathered by the New York prosecutor’s office before giving their verdict on Ghislaine Maxwell. The testimonies confirmed the versions that pointed to the British as the head of an elaborate international network for the recruitment of minors who were later subjected to sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein and his friends.
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In 2019, amid the avalanche of complaints against the tycoon, it was known that Andrew, ninth in line to the British throne, was also accused by a victim.
Virginia Giuffre, who is currently 38 years old, pointed out to the 61 year old prince for having abused her at least three times between 1999 and 2002, when the young woman was not yet 18 years old. The woman also explained that the abuses were committed in London, New York and on a private island in the Caribbean owned by Epstein.
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In August 2019, Epstein committed suicide inside his cell in New York. Andrés, on the other hand, gave a controversial interview to the BBC to deny all the accusations against him, but was accused of several contradictions that further increased suspicions.
The accusations against Andrés did not take long to also impact the reputation of the British Crown. Especially after a photograph was released in which the Duke of York appears embracing Giuffre by the waist in 2001. Maxwell can also be seen in the image.
As a result of the scandal, Andrés was removed from all work related to the monarchy. A decision that also meant the breaking of the protective mantle that for several years the crown had spread over him, especially the Queen isabel II according to British monarchical experts.
Buckingham Palace analysts have not hesitated to state, on numerous occasions, that Andrés is the queen’s favorite son.
This would have allowed him to emerge well from the countless scandals that he starred in from his young years: from a “Prostibular tour” through Thailand in 1997, through scandalous parties full of prostitutes and pimps in 1999 or alleged bribes and favors for questioned politicians and bloodthirsty proven dictators.
After all those shocks, Andrés, a veteran of the Falklands War, continued to work as a special reference for the United Kingdom abroad, a kind of ambassador to the crown.
In 2008, when Epstein was sentenced to prison for sexual crimes, Andrés claimed to have cut off his relationship with the tycoon and was unaware of his role as a sexual predator. This version was denied two years later, when a photograph was published in which the two walk and talk in New York.
This, apparently, was the straw that broke the camel’s back at Buckingham Palace, leading Andrés to disassociate himself from any work related to the crown. The determining hand in this decision was, according to British analysts, his older brother, Prince Charles of Wales.
THE JUDGMENT TO MAXWELL
After knowing the accusations of Giuffre, part of Andres’s defense revolved around having approached Epstein through Maxwell, for which he claimed to be unaware of the pedophilia plot that the tycoon was managing.
Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell, has confirmed to have a multi-year friendship with the Duke of York.
This relationship, precisely, would have consequences in the process against Andrés after the verdict in the Maxwell case was known.
On August 9 of this year, Victoria Giuffre formalized her complaint against Andrés before a New York court under the Juvenile Victims Law. It should be noted that this process is of a civil and not a criminal nature, so that the sentence – if any – would correspond to financial compensation rather than to imprisonment.
Andrés, who, before the formal complaint was filed, assured that he would be brought to justice if necessary, has not attended any subpoena from the New York court to date.
His lawyers, on the contrary, have put a series of obstacles to hinder the process. The last resort presented by the legal team requires the court to make public an out-of-court agreement signed by Giuffre and Epstein with which, they assure, would relieve the prince of all responsibility.
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The sentence to Maxwell, on the other hand, is crucial in terms of the considerations that the jury could have regarding the case against Andrés.
“In the legal sense, it leaves it in exactly the same place it was a week ago (…) but to some extent, everything has changed, certainly in public perception”, highlighted the royal correspondent Jonny Dymond to BBC Radio 4, according to the AFP agency.
The British newspaper “The Daily Telegraph”, on the other hand, warns that the verdict against Maxwell would allow Andrés to be considered “guilty by association”.
“When the jury is selected for Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew, this question will be kept in mind: that the prince’s friend was found guilty by a New York court,” warns the English newspaper “The Times”.
The analysts, however, have been clear in highlighting that during the process against Maxwell only the acts committed by the accused were judged.
Despite this, one of the witnesses presented during the process was a former Epstein pilot who claimed to have transported personalities such as Prince Andrew, Donald Trump or Bill Clinton on the magnate’s plane.
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