Delaying the scheduled start from July 12, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said the move was appropriate given the addition of new charges in March and the Covid-19 pandemic hampering trial preparations.
Ms Maxwell pleaded not guilty in April to new indictments during her first in-person appearance since her arrest for sex trafficking.
Her defense team requested the postponement because the new indictment, which added a victim and extended the time limit for the allegations, superseded the previous charges, to which Ms Maxwell also pleaded not guilty.
The court ruled against the defense’s request to delay until January 2022, but agreed that the additional charges and the extended timeline of the alleged conspiracy required “a substantial amount of discovery that is now potentially relevant.”
Prosecutors had objected to the delay, arguing that it was not necessary because the defense had succeeded in dividing the charges into two trials, one on allegations of sex trafficking and the other on the fact that it had committed a perjury by denying them under oath.
“As the government has indicated in explaining the delay in filing new charges, travel constraints and other security issues resulting from the pandemic have slowed the preparation of the trial and complicated the logistics of conducting investigations,” he said. Ms. Nathan added in the ruling.
In deciding that the adjournment would not be longer than necessary, she noted that Ms Maxwell was still in pre-trial detention.
Attorney David Markus has previously said Ms Maxwell “was on hold” but suffered from the “Epstein effect” of being constantly monitored by health checks.
“I have never seen anything like how she is treated. This is the Epstein effect. This is the Epstein effect. She was treated horribly because of the neglect and what happened to Jeffrey Epstein. “
Ms. Nathan has ordered defense prosecutors and lawyers to propose a trial date in the fall by next Monday, May 10th.