Ghislaine Maxwell faces new charges as US expands sex crime record

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Ghislaine Maxwell faces new charges as US expands sex crime record


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NEW YORK – U.S. prosecutors on Monday expanded their criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell, saying the British socialite helped secure a fourth underage daughter for late financier Jeffrey Epstein for sexual abuse.

An amended indictment against Maxwell now covers alleged crimes spanning 1994-2004 in New York and Florida, including charges that she paid the girl, known as Minor Victim-4, hundreds of dollars for every sex act with Epstein.

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

She had previously pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and prepare three teenage girls for sex between 1994 and 1997 in New York City. Maxwell, 59, has been held in a Brooklyn jail since her arrest last July.

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Maxwell’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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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, although prosecutors have said Maxwell should be given “sufficient time” to prepare. .

In a letter to the judge, prosecutors said they gave Maxwell’s lawyers the month and year of the fourth victim’s birth and key evidence about her.

They also said they plan to provide copious amounts of other evidence, including statements from more than 250 witnesses related to their investigation of Epstein and his associates.

Epstein committed suicide at age 66 in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while waiting for sex trafficking charges to be known.

His estate was used to create a fund supposed to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution to victims of his sexual abuse. The fund received more than 175 requests.

According to the amended indictment, Maxwell and Epstein recruited the fourth victim to perform sex acts with Epstein at his home in Palm Beach, Florida, and successfully encouraged her to recruit other girls to do so. the same.

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According to the indictment, Epstein employees, including Maxwell, also sent gifts such as lingerie to the girl’s Florida home from New York City, where Epstein had a townhouse in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This townhouse was sold this month for $ 51 million.

In late January and early February, Maxwell filed 12 petitions to dismiss all or part of the government case, or at least make it more difficult to secure a conviction.

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

She also said the perjury charges, based on 2016 civil trial depositions, should be dismissed because her answers were true and the grand jury in suburban White Plains, New York, who indicted her had too few non-white jurors.

Last week, another Manhattan federal judge refused to dismiss espionage charges against a former CIA employee indicted in White Plains at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, dismissing the defendant’s argument that the jury was not diverse enough.

This decision may foreshadow the outcome of Maxwell’s dismissal request.

On March 22, Judge Nathan rejected Maxwell’s third bail application, saying Maxwell remained a significant flight risk.

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