Prosecutors on Thursday disputed claims by lawyers of a British socialite that they were releasing evidence too slowly and improperly withholding the names of women who were abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein as children.
In court documents, Manhattan prosecutors defended the handling of charges against Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell last month, while saying they were “deeply concerned” about the actions of Maxwell’s lawyers.
“To date, the defendant has yet to ask the government a single substantive question” about the evidence, prosecutors told US District Judge Alison J. Nathan. “The government is also ready to enter into good faith discussions with the defense on an appropriate disclosure schedule.”
Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to charges of recruiting three girls, including a 14-year-old, and joining Epstein in the abuses in the 1990s.
His lawyers said earlier this week in a letter to the judge that they could not properly investigate the charges against Maxwell because prosecutors would not tell them the identities of the three accusers.
They also said Maxwell was being treated unfairly in a Brooklyn federal prison, where “particularly onerous conditions” prevented him from adequately preparing for a trial scheduled for next July.
Prosecutors say they protect the identity of sexual assault victims and have no legal obligation to identify them immediately.
The government said it had already provided defense lawyers with more than 165,000 pages of evidence, including search warrant requests and subpoena referrals, even though the deadline for handing over the documents was still in. one week.
And they suggested that defense attorneys could determine the identity of the three accusers since the indictment lists relevant periods and events and refers to Maxwell’s conversations and interactions with the victims, while also identifying the place where they happened.
They also expressed doubts about the ability of defense lawyers to adhere to rules regarding the secrecy of evidence before trial, saying they were “deeply concerned” by the recent actions of Maxwell’s lawyers.
They said the defense had “publicly asserted in a civilian file that they would have received ‘new critical information’ from the criminal case that it could not disclose” because of its confidentiality agreement regarding the evidence in the case. criminal case.
Still, prosecutors noted that Maxwell’s attorneys have also publicly stated that they want to change their confidentiality agreement to use elements of the criminal case in the civil case.
Prosecutors said the secrecy agreement “expressly excludes” this.
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