Prince Andrew's Legal Strategy Might Ring A Bell

The following article includes discussion of sexual assault.

In order to understand the outrage surrounding the defense that Prince Andrew's legal team is currently using during his sexual assault trial, you should know some statistics about sexual assault convictions. In the United States, out of every 1,000 instances of rape, only 310 are reported to police (via RAINN). Only 50 of those reports lead to an arrest, and only 28 of those will lead to a felony rape conviction. Even fewer, 25, will lead to incarceration. Not only are these statistics disheartening when it comes to justice for rape victims, but we aren't even discussing the stigma of a culture that often blames victims for their own assault based on what they were wearing, whether they had been drinking, or where they were (via VOX).

With all of this in mind, it stands to reason that folks are not impressed with what's happening in Prince Andrew's case right now. The prince, who is now 61 years old, is being sued by a woman named Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was forced against her will by Jeffery Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew three separate times when she herself was only 17 (via The Independent). Now, the defense the prince is using is being panned as victim-blaming.    

Prince Andrew's team accused of victim blaming

Nigel Cawthorne, Prince Andrew's biographer, has told The Independent he was surprised the Prince's legal team was attempting the same type of defense tactics that he says  Ghislaine Maxwell's team also employed in her recent trial, considering it backfired on her spectacularly when she was convicted of five counts of recruiting and grooming young girls for Jeffrey Epstein (via The Independent). Specifically, both defense teams used what many consider victim-blaming tactics by claiming the accusers' motives are questionable and that they are having false memories of events. Cawthorne says he feels the prince is being "seriously misadvised" by his legal counsel to be taking this route in his civil trial.

In a world where the spotlight is shining brightly on the lack of proper accountability for those who commit sexual assault, especially in the aftermath of the Maxwell trial, treating a victim like a criminal doesn't sit well, and it's yet to be seen if Prince Andrew's choice to employ these tactics will backfire the way the did for Maxwell.