The verdict is in… and it’s not looking good for Prince Andrew.
As you probably heard, Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five charges on Wednesday in relation to her role in the sex trafficking operation of Jeffrey Epstein. It’s probably the closest we’ll ever come to a guilty verdict for the infamous billionaire pedophile himself — but it hopefully is just the beginning of justice for his many victims.
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That seems to be what Andrew’s legal team fears as they were, according to a report in The Mirror, “locked in emergency talks” all night after the verdict, which could put Maxwell in prison for up to 65 years.
See, the Duke of York is currently being sued by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has long alleged that she had sex with the Royal at the command of his infamous pal — once when she was just 17 years old in Ghislaine’s London home.
The legal team is reportedly freaking out because, as you may know, the burden of proof is less demanding in a civil trial than a criminal one. Instead of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, they require just a preponderance of evidence. Think O.J. Simpson getting acquitted but then having to pay in the civil trial anyway.
Not only that, there’s the possibility that Ghislaine may finally name names now that she’s been found guilty. After all, she’s looking down the barrel of a possible 65 years in prison, effectively the rest of her life. Would she flip on folks involved in the trafficking to get a reduced sentence? There are plenty. She and Epstein didn’t traffic these girls to no one. If we were Andrew we’d be sweating bullets. Well, not if we were Andrew, we guess, since he says he was unable to sweat. LOLz!
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Surprisingly, however, his lawyers actually think they’ve found their defense within the evidence given against Maxwell in the trial.
One of the accusers, known during the trial as “Carolyn”, said something the lawyers think might be “disastrous” for the case against Andrew. Carolyn testified that it was Virginia who recruited her into the sex trafficking operation. The team think that fact leaves the accuser’s legal case “seriously, if not fatally, weakened.” A legal source told the outlet:
“Andrew’s US team immediately seized upon Carolyn’s testimony. They believe she holds a smoking gun to any possible role Virginia played in Epstein’s pyramid scheme of abuse. Andrew’s lawyers have convinced him that if he is to stand any chance of preventing her case from going to court, they need to fight with fire and that nothing should be off-limits.”
In other words, blame the victim. Turn it around on her, claim she was a criminal the whole time and NOT actually ever a victim of Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew.
Maybe they’re right. Maybe that will change how a jury sees Giuffre. However, they may realize that sometimes in cases like these part of being a victim is being turned into part of the system. And that she was still a teenager, and he was still a grown man, who was besties with the people at the top of an underage sex trafficking ring.
We guess we’ll have to see how things pan out, but we can tell you this — we don’t like Andrew’s chances if he has to get on the stand. But we admit we’re keen to hear any new excuses he comes up!
[Image via BBC/WENN.]