A Florida federal judge struck from the record allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz on Monday. The judge will not allow “Jane Doe No. 3,” who has claimed that Dershowitz had sex with her while she was underage, to enter the ongoing federal court case as a party, though she can still testify as a witness.
The judge’s decision is the latest installment in an ongoing saga of allegations and refutations between Dershowitz and “Jane Doe No. 3.” The controversy began with a filing late last year to a civil court case that challenges a plea deal negotiated for Jeffrey E. Epstein, who went to state prison for 18 months for soliciting prostitution from a minor and skirted federal prosecution.
The initial Dec. 30 filing ,which first alleged that Epstein forced “Jane Doe No. 3” to have sex with Dershowitz several times in a variety of locations, is part of this effort to challenge the plea deal that Dershowitz helped negotiate.
Dershowitz has continually denied that he had any kind of sexual relations with “Jane Doe No. 3,” and he filed to intervene in the case to clear his name. Both Dershowitz and Jane Doe No. 3 have signed sworn affidavits denying and affirming, respectively, the allegations.
The judge’s Monday decision annuls Dershowitz’s filing to intervene; the district court judge, Kenneth A. Marra, wrote “as the Court has taken it upon itself to strike the impertinent factual details [from the case]...the Court concludes that Mr. Dershowitz’s intervention in this case is unnecessary.”
The judge’s decision does not directly address the veracity of Jane Doe No. 3’s claims, but rather their relevance to the ongoing case. Still, Dershowitz said he was optimistic about the latest developments.
“As far as I’m concerned, it was a total vindication,” he said.
For their part, Bradley J. Edwards and Paul G. Cassell, the lawyers representing “Jane Doe No. 3” and the rest of the victims challenging Epstein’s plea deal, wrote in an email that they were “pleased by the Court’s ruling recognizing that Jane Doe [3 and] 4 have a right to participate” as witnesses in the case.
“I’m happy to get to participate in this important case,” wrote “Jane Doe No. 3” in an emailed statement forwarded by her lawyers.
The legal struggle has not come to a close, though. Both Dershowitz and the two lawyers have sued one another for defamation, and Dershowitz said that he plans to continue his efforts to combat the accusations against him.
—Staff writer Andrew M. Duehren can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @aduehren.
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