LONDON, UK. (THECOUNT) — Prince Andrew wasn’t on trial in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking case, but her conviction is bad news for the man who is ninth in line to the British throne, according to globalnews.
With the conclusion of the Maxwell case, attention now pivots to a U.S. civil suit in which the plaintiff alleges Maxwell and long-time boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein took her to London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands to have sex with Andrew when she was underage.
Andrew denies the allegations, but Wednesday’s verdict shows that at least one American jury was willing to believe the young women trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell in a criminal case, where the standard of proof is higher than in civil cases.
“To the extent there’s overlap of evidence with respect to Prince Andrew’s case, it certainly doesn’t bode well,” said Bradley Simon, a former U.S. federal prosecutor who now works as a defense attorney in complex civil cases. “But, as I said, every case hinges on its own specific facts and the judges will always instruct the jury on that.”
Maxwell was convicted Wednesday of sex trafficking and conspiracy charges after a month-long trial in New York.
While U.S. criminal cases must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, civil defendants can be ordered to pay financial damages if they are found responsible based on a preponderance of the evidence.
The verdict is problematic for Andrew because he has long been friends with Maxwell, daughter of the late rags-to-riches media tycoon Robert Maxwell. Even after Epstein was charged with sex crimes, Andrew failed to distance himself from her.
Those links have already diminished the prince’s standing.
Andrew was forced to give up his duties as a working member of the royal family after a disastrous 2019 interview with the BBC that only increased public concern about his ties to Epstein and Maxwell. The prince was widely criticized for his explanation of why he maintained contact with Epstein after the financier was accused of sexual misconduct and for failing to show empathy for Epstein’s victims.