U.S. District Judge rejects Prince Andrew's attempt to have sexual abuse lawsuit dismissed

The Queen's son has long been tied to the illicit activities of the late Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew failed Wednesday in his attempt to convince a U.S. court to dismiss a sexual-abuse lawsuit brought against him by a woman who claims he abused her when she was 17 years old.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan for the Southern District of New York ruled that the prince would be able to cast doubt on the accusations of Virginia Giuffre in court, but to dismiss her claims prior to a trial would be premature.

Lawyers for the prince, a member of the British royal family, had attempted to block the suit, in part, by releasing details of a previous legal settlement in which Giuffre – a well known accuser of Jeffrey Epstein – accepted half million dollars from the now-deceased financier on the grounds that she would not bring any further legal action. 

Prior to the leaked settlement information, the Duke of York's attorneys tried blocking the suit by arguing that Giuffre no longer lives in the United States. A federal judge rejected the argument.

An attorney for Giuffre told NBC News: "Ms. Giuffre is, of course, pleased that Prince Andrew's motion to avoid a trial has been denied, and that the evidence will now be taken concerning her claims. She looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims."

Giuffre has accused Epstein and his recently convicted longtime consort Ghislaine Maxwell of coercing her into having sexual relations with Prince Andrew in the 1990s. Andrew has said he has "no recollection" of meeting Giuffre.

Buckingham Palace has not publicly addressed the issue.