In yet another entry in the back-and-forth legal saga surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct against Alan M. Dershowitz, the Harvard Law School professor emeritus has filed a new response in court, repeating his denial of the accusations against him.
In the Feb. 2 filing, Dershowitz and his legal team again deny the claims of “Jane Doe No. 3,” who has accused Dershowitz of having sex with her while she was a minor. The latest filing questions "Jane Doe No. 3's" credibility and calls for the court to strike the allegations of his misconduct.
The filing is part of a civil court case that challenges a plea deal that Dershowitz helped to negotiate for Jeffrey E. Epstein, a billionaire and prominent Harvard donor who went to prison in Florida after pleading guilty to soliciting prostitution but avoided federal prosecution.
The accusations against Dershowitz first surfaced in a Dec. 30 court filing, which alleged that Epstein forced “Jane Doe No. 3” to have sexual relations with Dershowitz when she was underage. In response, Dershowitz took both legal and public steps of his own, filing to intervene in the case to protect his reputation as well as denouncing the claims to a number of media outlets.
Since then, both Dershowitz and the lawyers for “Jane Doe No. 3,” Paul G. Cassell and Bradley J. Edwards, have taken subsequent legal action to support their respective claims, namely filing sworn affidavits and a defamation suit. This latest chapter is Dershowitz's first legal response after “Jane Doe No. 3” filed a sworn affidavit reaffirming her allegations on Jan. 21.
Much of this most recent filing echoes Dershowitz’s earlier claims in the legal dispute, namely that he did not have sexual relations with “Jane Doe No. 3” and was not aware of Jeffrey E. Epstein’s abuse of underage women. It also challenges the accusation that Dershowitz negotiated Epstein’s plea deal as a way to protect himself and any other “co-conspirators” in the case.
The filing raises doubts about the validity of the testimony of “Jane Doe No. 3,” claiming that there exist inconsistencies between her different accounts of her contact with former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Stating that future “evidence will show” her allegations to be false, the filing calls “Jane Doe No. 3's” sworn affidavit “perjurious.”
In an interview Monday, Dershowitz said that inconsistencies in the alleged victim's prior claims will be important in proving his innocence, arguing that they indicate a tendency to fabricate stories about “prominent people.”
“It’s proof that what she said about me is a totally made-up fantasy,” Dershowitz said.
Both Cassell and Edwards declined to comment about Dershowitz’s latest legal action.
This filing comes after 38 Law School professors signed a letter “in support of” Dershowitz, criticizing the format of the case and the extent to which Dershowitz could directly respond to the allegations in court.
—Staff writer Andrew M. Duehren can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @aduehren.
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