British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell will appear in Manhattan federal court this afternoon for her first in-person court appearance since her arrest last July for her alleged involvement in the sex trafficking of girls by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell, daughter of the late publishing baron Robert Maxwell, faces a total of eight charges. It appears several weeks after federal prosecutors expanded their case against him.
When authorities arrested Maxwell, he faced six counts on charges including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sexual acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sexual acts, conspiracy to transport minors with the intent to engage in criminal sexual acts. activity, transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury.
On March 29, a new indictment charged Maxwell with two more charges: sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor. This new indictment increases the number of accusers: there are now four “minor victims” on the list, compared to three. Furthermore, this indictment extends the term of Maxwell’s alleged involvement in the Epstein abuse by seven years, from 1994 to 2004, rather than from 1994 to 1997.
Maxwell, 59, has maintained his innocence.
Epstein, a convicted sex offender, was found dead in his cell in a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019, while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking of 14-year-old girls. Authorities said Epstein hanged himself.
Maxwell, who was arrested in an isolated luxurious home in Bradford, New Hampshire, is now being held in a Brooklyn federal jail, having lost several arguments in favor of bail.
Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of “sneaking” into hiding and previously lying about his involvement in Epstein’s abuse of underage girls because, according to them, the truth was “almost indescribable.”
“Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse,” authorities said earlier in court documents. “In some cases, Maxwell participated in the abuse.
“She set the trap. She pretended to be a woman [alleged victims] I could trust. “
Judge Alison Nathan recently rejected Maxwell’s arguments to dismiss the original charges that, between 1994 and 1997, he recruited three teenagers to be sexually abused by Epstein. Nathan also rejected Maxwell’s claims that a controversial non-prosecution agreement Epstein had negotiated with South Florida federal prosecutors more than 12 years ago isolates her from prosecution.
Nathan agreed that Maxwell can be tried separately on the perjury charges. Nathan also said that he will weigh his defense arguments against the new sex trafficking charges later.
The arrests of Epstein and Maxwell have prompted heightened scrutiny from Prince Andrew, who was a confidant of both alleged sex traffickers. Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s numerous accusers, claimed in a civil lawsuit that Maxwell brought her into his circle under the false premise of massage work. After being drawn into his world, Maxwell forced Giuffre to have sex with high-profile men, such as the Duke of York, when she was only 17 years old, she alleged.
Maxwell has denied Giuffre’s allegations.
Andrew, both directly and through statements from Buckingham Palace, has repeatedly and emphatically denied all of Giuffre’s allegations.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism