Dershowitz files court challenge to what he calls outrageous sex allegation

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Story highlights

  • NEW: Alan Dershowitz indicates he will give deposition for defamation suit against him
  • He asks a federal court to "strike" sex-related allegations against him
  • A court filing says Dershowitz had sex with minors via Jeffrey Epstein; he denies it

(CNN)After days of vehemently denying claims in the media, high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz wants a judge to step in -- specifically, to "strike the allegations" against him of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls.

Dershowitz has been outspoken since a court filing last week named him as one of several prominent people accused of having sex with minors with help from self-made billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. But he took his defense to a new level Monday, with a pair of filings in federal court.
In a motion, the Harvard University professor asked the court to erase the allegation naming him -- as part of a lawsuit against the federal government, though he hasn't been charged or sued -- from the docket. He also asked the judge to issue a "show cause order against" the lawyers for the woman making the claim, to compel them to give evidence in court in support of their allegation.
    Such attempts to have allegations erased from court documents have been denied before, though Dershowitz argued that his situation is different. He accused his accusers of "character assassination," claiming that courts have the "authority to strike material that is 'scandalous, immaterial or redundant.' "
    "The docket sheets and courtrooms of the United States District Court for (southern) Florida should not be used as a bulletin board to which irrelevant, baseless, and ill-willed reputational attacks can be tacked up without consequence," he argued.
    Paul Cassell, one of the lawyers representing the alleged victims, told CNN on Tuesday that his clients "do not oppose Mr. Dershowitz having an opportunity to present his arguments to the court."
    Referring to one of his clients by the name used for her in court documents, Cassell added, "Jane Doe #3, however, has been viciously attacked by Mr. Dershowitz. We have requested an opportunity to meet with (federal prosecutors) so that we can seek their assistance in presenting evidence ... that will help Jane Doe #3 respond to these unfair attacks."
    Cassell and lawyer Bradley Edwards filed suit Tuesday against Dershowitz, alleging defamation.
    They say statements he made to the media recently are "defamatory per se directly attacking the fitness of the plaintiffs (in this case) to engage in the honored profession of the practice of law," according to a court filing obtained by CNN.
    They pointed to an interview Dershowitz gave to CNN.
    Alan Dershowitz denies underage sex
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    In a written statement Wednesday, Dershowitz said the suit will require depositions from Cassell, Edwards, Jane Doe #3 and him.
    "I hope they will not try to hide behind litigation and other privileges, so that the truth will come out," he said.
    Prince Andrew also denies tie to sex ring
    Along with Britain's Prince Andrew and others, Dershowitz was named in the federal court filing in Florida last week as one of the prominent people who had sexual contact with teenage girls through Epstein.
    Prince Andrew denies tie to sex ring
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    Epstein, an investment banker, pleaded guilty some years ago in Florida to a state charge of prostitution solicitation, but there were no federal charges after he and authorities signed off on a nonprosecution agreement.
    But some of Epstein's alleged victims aren't on board with the deal, thinking he should have stiffer charges and penalties. Four of them took federal prosecutors to court, suing them to reopen the case because they believed their rights under the Crime Victims' Rights Act were violated by the nonprosecution agreement.
    Two of them entered the discussion in the court filing late last month, including the one described as Jane Doe #3. The filing alleged she was a minor when Epstein made her a "sex slave" and made "her available for sex to politically connected and financially powerful people."
    Those big names included Prince Andrew, who through Buckingham Palace has rejected the allegations, and they also included Dershowitz.
    According to the filing, "Epstein required Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with Dershowitz on numerous occasions while she was a minor, not only in Florida but also on private planes, in New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands."
    Dershowitz: 'Totally false' claims could 'damage my reputation irrevocably'
    The celebrity lawyer and professor subsequently issued an adamant public denial, saying the case "is all about money" and "completely made up."
    Alan Dershowitz: Claims 'utterly untrue'
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    He went further in his court filings, including a sworn affidavit in which he said "lawyers for Jane Doe #3 ... leveled totally false and outrageous charges against me that have been reported around the world and threaten to damage my reputation irrevocably."
    "Never under any circumstance have I ever had any sexual contact of any kind, which includes massages or any physical contact whatsoever, with Jane Doe #3," he added.
    Dershowitz said, for instance, that his wife and daughter accompanied him on his sole visit to Epstein's Caribbean island as well as the one time he went to Epstein's New Mexico house -- at which point it was under construction and no girls were visible.
    "Let me assert categorically, without reservation and with full awareness of the risks of perjury," he stated, "that I did not ever, under any circumstances, have any sexual contact of any kind with Jane Doe #3."