Prince Andrew has been named in a lawsuit filed in the US on Thursday (US time) by a woman claiming she was introduced to the Duke shortly before being raped by Jeffrey Epstein.

Caroline Kaufman alleges she was sexually abused by Epstein in 2010 when she was 17 at the late financier's New York mansion while the Duke of York was visiting, in a civil suit filed on the same day as charges were brought against Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

Kaufman, now 26, said she was invited to the house for a "modelling interview", according to a suit seen by The Telegraph that was filed at the Manhattan Federal Court against Epstein's $630 million estate.

Prince Andrew was pictured leaving the Upper East side townhouse in 2010, two years after Epstein was convicted by a Florida state court of procuring an underage girl for prostitution. The Duke claimed he had travelled to the US to cut off ties with Epstein.

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The suit will add to mounting pressure on the Duke to address allegations centring on his contact with Epstein and his former girlfriend Maxwell.

It does not accuse the Duke of wrongdoing or of being aware of the alleged attack. He has previously said of his interaction with Epstein, who died in prison last year: "At no stage during the limited time I spent with [Epstein] did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."

The lawsuit alleges Kaufman was told to strip naked and was photographed by "an older woman" she now believes to be Maxwell.

"Upon entering Epstein's Manhattan home, Kaufman was introduced to a number of people. One of the individuals was Andrew Albert Christian Edward, aka, Prince Andrew, Duke of York," it reads.

"Kaufman was escorted by Maxwell into a massage room. Epstein was nude on the massage table as she entered the room.

"After Maxwell left the room, Epstein got up off the table, grabbed Kaufman and threw her against the massage table," the suit alleges. "During this encounter, Epstein (...) raped Kaufman, while saying 'I know you love it'. Kaufman was screaming for help during this encounter, but no one came to her rescue."

Kaufman says she was lured into Epstein's circle through his "close associate" Susan Hamblin whom she met at a horse show in New York earlier in 2010.

Hamblin, who was also reportedly present, handed $500 to Kaufman as she left, the suit says and wanted her not to speak about the incident as "Mr Epstein is a very powerful man and he knows presidents. If you say anything he will kill you and your family".

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Caroline Kaufman, 26, has accused Epstein of raping her during a
Caroline Kaufman, 26, has accused Epstein of raping her during a "modelling interview" at his Manhattan mansion. Photo / Facebook

The lawsuit claims Kaufman has suffered "extreme distress, humiliation, fear, psychological trauma, loss of dignity and self esteem and invasion of her privacy".

It adds: "Epstein and his co-conspirators enticed Kaufman to cross state lines, with the full knowledge and intent to sexually exploit Kaufman."

Kaufman is asking for damages and legal costs from Epstein's estate, and a jury trial of the civil case.

It came as Audrey Strauss, acting US Attorney for the Southern District for New York, urged Prince Andrew to come forward to be questioned, saying: "We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us, we would like to have the benefit of his statement."

A source close to the Duke told The Telegraph: "The Duke's team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ [US Department of Justice] in the last month and to-date, we have had no response."

The Duke is facing allegations from Virginia Roberts Giuffre that Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with Prince Andrew at her London townhouse. Giuffre bolstered her allegations with a picture of her, the Duke and Maxwell that she said was taken at the time.

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Prince Andrew is facing allegations by Virginia Roberts Giuffre that Ghislaine Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with the Duke at her London townhouse. Photo / Getty Images
Prince Andrew is facing allegations by Virginia Roberts Giuffre that Ghislaine Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with the Duke at her London townhouse. Photo / Getty Images

Prince Andrew denied her story, saying he did not recollect ever having met Giuffre, and Maxwell said in a deposition that Giuffre was "totally lying".

The prince was not mentioned in Thursday's criminal indictment, and the charges covered Maxwell's dealings with Epstein only from 1994 through 1997, a period well before his alleged encounters with Giuffre in 2001.

Maxwell was charged with helping elicit underage girls to travel for sex and of lying to investigators about it later.

Sources have suggested that Maxwell could be asked to co-operate with prosecutors, by sharing information she may have on "bigger names" that may have been involved in Epstein's sex ring in order to secure a plea deal.

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer for some of the victims, said: "I'm sure that Ghislaine's attorneys will try to make a deal where she speaks out about a bigger name to get reduced charges for herself."

"But she herself is a big name, with Jeffrey Epstein's passing a year ago, she is one of the biggest names of people who were involved in this scheme," she added.

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