Prince Andrew/Epstein question?

Okay, what if when Prince Andrew was at Epstein’s house in New York and the police raided it with a valid warrant. The girl says that she did have sex with him and there is evidence to back that up.

  1. Could the police arrest Prince Andrew? What was his passport status?
  2. If arrested would he be able to post bail or personal bond?
  3. If he posted bond then went back to Great Britain and then refused to return, could they extradite him?

Unless he holds a specific diplomatic title, he’s going straight to jail and any bail agreement will require him to stay in the country. If he skips, he’s in the same boat as Roman Polanski. I doubt Britain would extradite him, but he’d be risking his liberty every time he traveled abroad.

I’m not sure if it’s as straight forward as that. From what I’ve read Prince Harry is currently living in the US with a British diplomatic passport. Prince Andrew was working as some sort of trade envoy at the time. I don’t know for sure but I would bet he was traveling under a diplomatic passport. At this point he does not have a role and no diplomatic immunity but at the time he most likely did.

Here’s an interesting follow-on question then - if Prince Andrew (or indeed anyone the British government really really cared about) was arrested while not in posession of diplomatic status, could he be given it for retroactive immunity?

On what charge?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest maybe having sex with a minor. Being as that was what the whole Epstein thing was about. With a side of the women not doing it willingly.

Guiffre was 17 when she says she had sex with Prince Andrew in London, and the event in New York was after that time. In both cases, she was older than the age of consent in those jurisdictions.

Was she trafficked - most definitely. That’s on Epstein/Maxwell.

Is Prince Andrew a sleazy dirtbag - yes.

But could he have been arrested in New York?
Let a lawyer sort that one out.

But lawyers don’t sort those things out until after the arrests. The police can arrest him if they think a crime has been committed. Or simply hold him until they can confirm ages and stories. If police already have a warrant, they don’t need special permission to arrest anyone there. Often, in these types of raids, they arrest everyone there.

Of course, him being who he is, it’s unlikely anything would have happened to him long term.

If OP had posited a raid on the Epstein property in the US Virgin Islands, then there would be a better chance of an arrest - the age of consent there is 18, and the trafficking charges would probably stick.

I don’t know why it didn’t number when I quoted the OP.

IANAL, so all of this is speculation, but :

  1. As said above, it was likely that he was traveling with a diplomatic passport at the time, so he would have had to be released, even if he were arrested. If he didn’t have diplomatic immunity, then he could have been arrested.

  2. After he was arrested, then it would be up to the judge to determine if he could post bail and how much.

  3. People who post bail are usually required to surrender their passports. If he did somehow get back, of course the US could request that he is extradited.

Police can’t arrest if they think a crime has been committed. They can arrest if there is probable cause the suspect committed a crime.

I don’t know what you mean by “If the police already have a warrant, they don’t need special permission to arrest anyone there.” What kind of warrant? A search warrant? They still need to link each individual with a crime and probable cause. With some crimes like drugs constructive possession can be used. Most other crimes don’t have that. I can’t think of something an Epstein raid would involve where constructive possession would be a factor.
I’m not sure what you mean by “these types” of raids. When a search warrant is executed most often everyone present is temporarily detained. Also often many are released at the scene when it’s determined there is no probable cause for arrest.

They can try but there’s no reason why the US would have to recognize it. It then becomes a political hot potato that the two governments would have to deal with.

Has any country ever tried this?

So I think if this were to happen today (and as seems likely he pulled the “diplomatic immunity” card due to his diplomatic passport) popular opinion in the UK would be overwhelmingly for revoking it and allowing him to be prosecuted (though there may be some pressure to do a deal in exchange for Anne Sacoolas)

Even if she was of legal age in the jurisdiction where they would be caught, wasn’t Epstein fasviltsting prostitution, which would still be illegal for Andrew to utilize?

Prosecuted for what is still the question. Soliciting prostitution? A misdemeanor that would never be extradited. Having sex with someone young enough to be creepy but not illegal? Prosecutor’s may well have evidence of other acts up their sleeve but I haven’t seen it. (Admittedly I haven’t made a study of the case)

When did it happen? I believe the statute of limitations for that level of crime is 2 years in New York. Like I said above they won’t extradite for a misdemeanor anyway.

As I understand it the allegation is of sex with a minor:

In a December 2014 Florida court filing, intended for inclusion in the 2008 Crime Victims’ Rights Act lawsuit, Giuffre described being trafficked to Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at least three times when she was 17 in 2001.

If the feds were to happen to serve a warrant when that had just occurred (which is the premise of the OP as I understand it, assuming for purpose of discussion this happened when Epstein was alive and the girl involved was still underage) I assume they would (rightly) absolutely throw the book at him. In that situation public opinion in the UK would be massively in favor of revoking the diplomatic status and having face punishment, whatever his mum said.

Seventeen isn’t underage everywhere; she was of legal age to consent in New York at 17. She was NOT of legal age for purposes of the Mann Act, but arresting Andrew for trafficking would require different evidence than just ‘he had sex with her.’

Probably. Federal courts have affirmed retroactive grants of diplomatic immunity at least twice:

  • Abdulaziz v. Metropolitan Dade County (11th Cir. 1984) – State law enforcement executes a warrant to search the home of a member of the Saudi royal family on the basis that he was holding a woman there against her will. They execute the warrant after confirming with the State Department that Abdulaziz does not have diplomatic immunity. A fight ensues between the state law enforcement and Abdulaziz’s bodyguards which results in injuries and litigation (but, interestingly, no criminal charges). Three months after the attempt to execute the warrant, the Saudi government requests (and the State department certifies) diplomatic status. Abdulaziz then moves (successful) to dismiss the litigation against him.

  • United States v. Khobragade (S.D.N.Y. 2014) – you all may remember this one – An employee at the Indian consulate (who did not have diplomatic status) is arrested (by federal authorities) for visa fraud and false statements (all involving a domestic worker). About a month after her arrest, she was “promoted” to a position that afforded diplomatic status (and then promptly returned to India, which terminated any diplomatic status). The district court dismissed the indictment on the basis that she had been eligible for diplomatic status (and the State Department granted it) for one day and therefore there was no jurisdiction because the intervening immunity applied to all pending actions.

So, assuming the cooperation of the US State Department, I think that he could clearly be given immunity sufficient to obtain his release, dismiss any pending proceedings, and allow him to return to the UK. I don’t know enough about immunity to know how far it extends for post-immunity prosecutions, but Khobragade suggests that it would be difficult to rebring the case (setting aside the issue of extradition).