Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not responsible to intercourse trafficking costs By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell seems through video hyperlink throughout her arraignment listening to in Manhattan Federal Court docket in New York

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By Jonathan Stempel and Karen Freifeld

NEW YORK (Reuters) – British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not responsible on Friday to federal intercourse trafficking costs that she helped the late financier Jeffrey Epstein recruit and sexually abuse women.

Maxwell, 59, entered her plea in individual earlier than U.S. District Choose Alison Nathan in Manhattan to the costs, which had been included in an eight-count indictment unveiled on March 29.

Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of grooming and paying a lady who, beginning at age 14, gave Epstein nude massages and engaged in intercourse acts with him from 2001 to 2004, and that the woman recruited others to supply erotic massages.

They beforehand had charged Maxwell with serving to Epstein recruit and groom three different women for him to sexually abuse from 1994 to 1997.

Maxwell had pleaded not responsible to the sooner costs, which included two perjury counts.

Her trial is scheduled to start on July 12. The perjury counts can be dealt with individually in a second trial.

Maxwell wore a loose-fitting, blue short-sleeve shirt and white face masks at her listening to, along with her hair reaching under her shoulders.

The listening to marked the primary time she has publicly appeared in individual since her arrest final July at her dwelling in New Hampshire, the place prosecutors mentioned she had been hiding out. Maxwell had appeared by video in her prior arraignment.

Maxwell has been jailed in Brooklyn since her arrest. If convicted on all costs, she faces as much as 80 years in jail.

Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019, one month after being arrested on intercourse trafficking costs.

OBJECTIONS

Maxwell’s legal professionals have lengthy complained about her lack of ability to arrange successfully for a July 12 trial.

They’ve cited the necessity to assessment “voluminous” quantities of proof, blamed prosecutors for being too sluggish to show over supplies, and mentioned jail restrictions have impeded Maxwell from adequately making ready her protection.

Prosecutors have opposed any delay, and pledged to make “important efforts” to make sure that Maxwell was ready for a July trial.

They mentioned a delay would additionally hurt the 4 alleged victims, saying two have reported important stress from the case and expressed a want to go to trial.

Even when no delay had been granted, a July 12 begin just isn’t assured.

Solely seven courtrooms within the Manhattan courthouse have been reconfigured for the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate jury trials, in accordance with a court docket spokesman.

Jailed defendants in legal instances get greater precedence for jury trials, however some defendants are forward of Maxwell.

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