The Duke of York’s legal team has welcomed Scotland Yard’s decision not to launch a criminal investigation into claims he raped and sexually assaulted a teenager, saying it came as “no surprise” that the allegations were not being pursued.
The Metropolitan Police announced on Sunday evening that it would take “no further action” against Prince Andrew after reviewing legal documents in a civil case brought by his alleged victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Officers did not speak to Ms Giuffre before deciding not to pursue her claims, The Telegraph can reveal, despite a report to the contrary.
A source close to the Duke said on Monday: “It comes as no surprise that the Met Police have confirmed that, having reviewed the sex assault claims against the Duke for a third time, they are taking no further action.
“Despite pressure from the media and claims of new evidence, the Met have concluded that the claims are not sufficient to warrant any further investigation. The Duke has always vigorously maintained his innocence and continues to do so.”
The force said that, “as a matter of procedure,” it had combed through “a document released in August 2021 as part of a US civil action” relating to Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and convicted paedophile.
Officers also reviewed information passed to them by Channel 4 in June 2021 before deciding to take no further action.
Its probe did not stretch to speaking to Ms Giuffre about her claims that the Duke raped and sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was 17, including in London in March 2001.
The review marked the third time that the Met has looked into allegations relating to the Duke and Epstein’s activities in London but has opted not to investigate.
Ms Giuffre has ‘never formally complained to Scotland Yard’
Ms Giuffre has never formally complained to Scotland Yard that she was raped by Prince Andrew, it is believed.
Had she done so, it could pave the way for the force to open a criminal investigation and question the Duke.
Court documents filed in Florida in December 2014 claimed that Epstein, pictured below with Ghislane Maxwell, arranged for Ms Giuffre to have sex with the Duke after she was “internationally trafficked” into the UK.
She claimed Epstein told her to “give the Prince whatever he demanded” and was paid $10,000 (£6,730) to do so.
She also accused the Duke of taking part in an underage orgy while on Epstein’s private Caribbean island and having sex with her while at the billionaire’s New York home.
A judge later ordered that the relevant court papers, which had been open to the public, be sealed.
Scotland Yard was asked to look into the claims and confirmed at the time that they were considering them but added: “Our current activity does not constitute an investigation.”
In July 2015, Ms Giuffre made a criminal complaint to Scotland Yard against Epstein and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, alleging”non-recent trafficking for sexual exploitation,” including to central London in March 2001.
The force spent almost a year examining the complaint, and is understood to have interviewed her, but in November 2016 decided not to proceed with an inquiry.
It said it did not open a full investigation because the alleged illegal conduct mainly took place overseas.
Review comes after Cressida Dick’s ‘no one is above the law’ comment
In August 2019, after Epstein killed himself in a New York prison, Scotland Yard reviewed that decision, before announcing in November that its position remained unchanged.
The recent review of the civil lawsuit she brought against the Duke in a New York court in August came after Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, insisted that “no one is above the law”.
She said the force would be watching developments with the civil case and would review its position again in response.
The Channel 4 News investigation found more than half a dozen claims that young women and girls were alleged to have been targeted, trafficked, groomed or abused in the UK by Epstein and Maxwell, over a period spanning more than a decade.