PRINCE Andrew is subjecting Jeffrey Epstein’s victims to a “torture test” by refusing to tell prosecutors what he knows, a US lawyer has said.
Gloria Allred said Andrew is “avoiding and evading” US law authorities by not providing a statement after his friend Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in court accused of facilitating Epstein’s sexual exploitation of underage girls.
British socialite Maxwell, 58, was arrested at a sprawling estate in Bradford, New Hampshire, yesterday over allegations she helped Epstein, her former boyfriend, “identify, befriend and groom” girls, including one as young as 14.
Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the southern district of New York, said authorities would “welcome” a statement from the Duke in relation to the investigation.
But a source close to Andrew said: “The duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the last month and to date we have had no response.”
Lawyers for some of Epstein’s alleged victims today added pressure on Andrew to speak about his friendship with Epstein, who took his own life in prison last year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
The property where Ghislaine Maxwell, former associate of late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested[/caption]
Ghislaine Maxwell, with the Duke of York, leaves the wedding of a former girlfriend of the Duke, Aurelia Cecil[/caption]
Ms Allred told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “The question is, Prince Andrew when is he going to tell what he knows?
“He needs to do that. He needs to do it without delay. It is so traumatising and difficult for the victims not to know the truth.
“And this kind of torture test that Prince Andrew is subjecting the victims to, like will he or won’t he give a statement, if he will, when?
“More excuses, more delays, it really is painful for many of the victims. It’s just not fair.”
Spencer Coogan said his clients were “relieved” that Maxwell, daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell, had finally been arrested.
He urged Andrew to speak up about what he witnessed while visiting Epstein’s properties in New York, Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands.
The Duke learned of Maxwell’s arrest at the Royal Lodge in Windsor where he has been locked down with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
The disgraced financier with his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell (pictured in 2005)[/caption]
Mr Coogan told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “I certainly think Prince Andrew has a story to tell. On behalf of the victims we have continuously asked him to step forward, step up, be a man and tell us what he knows.
“He has been hiding behind not only the royal family but his attorneys.”
At a brief hearing yesterday, a magistrate judge ordered Maxwell to remain in custody while she is transferred to New York for a detention hearing.
Prosecutors said she was hiding at her 156-acre New Hampshire property, bought all in cash last December.
Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
Ms Strauss claimed the socialite had helped Epstein to exploit underage girls and “in some cases” would participate in the abuse herself.
She said: “Maxwell was among Epstein’s closest associates and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old.
“Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein to identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse.”
It is claimed Maxwell played a key role in helping Epstein ‘identify and befriend’ victims[/caption]
As well as perjury, Maxwell is accused of grooming and enticing girls as young as 14 into “sexualised massage” sessions.
It is claimed she played a key role in helping Epstein “identify and befriend” victims.
In some cases she joined in herself before “slithering” back to her privileged life, it is claimed.
An 18-page indictment described how Maxwell “helped put victims at ease because an adult woman was present”.
The sessions are alleged to have taken place at posh properties including her own London pad.
Andrew has been her friend for decades, and she is alleged to have introduced him to Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2001.
A now infamous picture was taken in Maxwell’s London home showing Andrew with his arm around Ms Roberts, then 17. She said they later had sex — which the Prince vehemently denies.
Andrew has suggested experts could have doctored the photo in which Maxwell is seen smiling in the background.
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Ms Roberts has claimed she was trafficked by Epstein and alleges the duke had sex with her on three separate occasions, including when she was 17, still a minor under US law.
Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Roberts, while his lawyers have insisted the duke has repeatedly offered to provide a witness statement to the investigation.
Epstein’s victims hailed Maxwell’s arrest yesterday.
David Boies, who represents Ms Roberts Giuffre, now 36, said: “This is a great day for justice. Jeffrey Epstein did not and could not have acted alone.”
Jennifer Araoz claims Epstein raped her when she was 15 after one of his recruiters lured her to a £65million mansion.
She said: “For years, I feared Epstein and his sex trafficking ring. Maxwell was the centre of that ring. Her arrest is a step in that direction. It truly means the justice system didn’t forget about us.”