Sex trafficking charges added to indictment against Ghislaine Maxwell

Sex trafficking charges added to indictment against Ghislaine Maxwell

Sex trafficking charges added to indictment against Ghislaine Maxwell

Ms Maxwell, the daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell, was in a relationship with financier Epstein in the 1990s. The new charges are a significant escalation.

She had previously pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom three teenage girls for sex between 1994 and 1997 in NY.

Sex-trafficking charges and another alleged victim were added to a superseding indictment returned in the criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell as prosecutors allege that a conspiracy to sexually abuse girls stretched over a decade. It took allegations beyond the earlier charges, which had alleged that Maxwell recruited three girls for Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to 1997 and sometimes joined in the abuse.

WireImage/Getty A recent grand jury indictment has accused Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged accomplice of child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, of undressing in front of girls as young as age 14 in an attempt to groom them for sex with Epstein.

The indictment said Maxwell groomed the girl to engage in sex acts with Epstein through multiple ways, including by giving her lingerie and hundreds of dollars in cash and by encouraging the girl to recruit other young females to provide "sexualised massages" to Epstein.

Earlier this month, Ms Maxwell's brother Ian Maxwell told BBC News his sister, who was arrested past year, was being held in "degrading" conditions in jail in Brooklyn.

But the United States government also promised not to bring another rewritten indictment against her if lawyers do not request to postpone a trial scheduled for July 12.

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In a letter filed with the court, prosecutors said a grand jury sitting in Manhattan returned the charges.

It is unclear whether the new charges could lead to a postponement of Maxwell's scheduled July 12 trial before U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, though prosecutors said Maxwell should have "ample time" to prepare.

Maxwell has been jailed without bail pending trial since mid-July, with US District Judge Alison Nathan saying that Maxwell's wealth, global ties and "extraordinary capacity to avoid detection" made her a flight risk.

She was denied bail for a third time earlier this month and remains in prison in Brooklyn awaiting a trial due to start this summer.

Maxwell, who was Epstein's longtime associate and former girlfriend, faces new charges of sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor in the eight-count indictment, as well as earlier charges that include perjury.

Maxwell has said the government targeted her only because Epstein killed himself and prosecutors wanted someone else to blame, and that she was covered by Epstein's own non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors in Florida.

The New York City Chief Medical Examiner's Office ruled Epstein died of suicide by hanging, though a doctor hired by Epstein's family to conduct an independent autopsy has disputed that conclusion.

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