Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not guilty to sex trafficking in first court appearance
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been denied bail after she was charged with six counts, including enticing minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity. Survivors said in court she is a “sexual predator who has never shown any remorse” and poses a danger to others
US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, rejected Maxwell’s bid for bail after prosecutors portrayed the wealthy socialite as an extreme flight risk, and set a trial date for July 12th, 2021.
Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of helping Jeffrey Epstein recruit and eventually abuse girls as young as 14 from 1994 to 1997 and lying about her role in depositions in 2016.
The federal indictment filed in Manhattan federal court charged Maxell with six counts, including enticing minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity. “In some instances, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims,” reads the indictment.
She has pled not guilty to all charges.
“The defendant has the ability to live in hiding, she’s good at it,” Alison Moe, a federal prosecutor, said in arguing against bail.
Maxwell’s defence said “our client is not Jeffrey Epstein” and “is not the monster that has been portrayed by the media and the government.”
A survivor of Epstein and Maxwell’s alleged abuse, Annie Farmer, chose to be named in proceedings and called for her to be detained until her trial date, saying she met Maxwell when she was 16. She called her a sexual predator who has “never shown any remorse for her heinous crimes.”
“She is a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other children and young women,” she said.
Prosecutors have said Ms Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
Court documents allege that Maxwell helped groom girls as young as 14 between 1994 and 1997, saying these encounters took place at Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan, his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and his ranch in Sante Fe, as well as Maxwell’s own residence in London.
“Maxwell would try to normalise sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein.”
Sixty-six-year-old Epstein faced up to 45 years in prison on US federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges when he died by suicide in August 2019.
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