- Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty on Tuesday over charges related to the abuse of young girls.
- Maxwell, the former associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein who was hiding out in a $US1 million New Hampshire estate, was arrested on July 2.
- During a bail hearing, a prosecutor argued that she is an extreme flight risk, has hid her financial assets from the court, and is used to living in hiding.
- Her attorney argued that she wasn’t living in hiding, but rather trying to maintain privacy from the media and public, and that she should be released due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Judge Alison J. Nathan found that there were no conditions that could assure Maxwell wouldn’t flee prosecution and ordered she be held without bail.
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During a video bail hearing on Tuesday, a prosecutor said Ghislaine Maxwell used a fake name and posed as a journalist to purchase the $US1 million remote New Hampshire estate where she had been living for the last year.
The FBI arrested Maxwell on July 2 on charges that she groomed young girls to be abused by her longtime associate Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges last August. Maxwell pleaded not guilty Tuesday to enticing minors to travel to engage in sexual acts, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual acts, and perjury.
She told investigators she didn’t know who bought the New England mansion, but a real estate agent identified her to the FBI as the woman he met and accompanied on a tour of the home, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe said Maxwell has “not come close” to disclosing her true financial assets to the court and emphasised “serious red flags” in her character and wealth, making her an extreme flight risk if released.
Moe said Maxwell told the court’s pretrial services department that she had fewer than $US1 million in Swiss bank accounts and no income, but prosecutors feel that her current lifestyle makes that unlikely.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” Moe told the court. “Either there are other assets, or there is other income.”
After hearing arguments from Moe and Maxwell’s attorney Mark Cohen – who argued that Maxwell wasn’t a flight risk and should be released due to coronavirus risks- Judge Alison Nathan ordered her to be held without bail pending trial.
“Not only does the defendant have significant financial resources, but she has demonstrated sophistication in hiding those resources and herself,” Nathan said. “The court finds by a preponderance of evidence that no combination of conditions could reasonably assure her presence at court.”
Prosecutors say Maxwell has extreme wealth she’s not telling the court about and 3 passports
For the last year, the socialite has moved several times in New England and stayed out of the public eye.
Moe said Maxwell has extreme wealth and three passports. She is a citizen of France, which would not extradite her if she were to flee there, the prosecutor said.
“A year is an extremely long period of time to live in hiding,” Moe said.
Cohen, though, argued that his client wasn’t living in hiding from law enforcement, but in the US for the last year litigating civil cases.
She had been living remotely, he said, to maintain a level of privacy from media and the public.
And when FBI arrived at the New Hampshire home, she ran from the door because she was in her pajamas, he said. The front door, he said, was unlocked and there was no need to breach it.
Victims allege Epstein’s abuse couldn’t have happened without Maxwell
Cohen repeatedly tried to distance Maxwell from her former lover, saying Maxwell is “not Jeffrey Epstein.”
But two victims who spoke or provided statements on Tuesday alleged that Maxwell was just as responsible for their abuse and that she shouldn’t be released.
“Without Ghislaine, Jeffrey could not have done what he did,” one Jane Doe said in a statement that Moe read. “She was in charge.”
The woman told the court that she knew Maxwell for 10 years. During that time, she alleged, Maxwell knew that Epstein was abusing the young girl and “egged him on.”
The woman also said that last year, during a civil proceeding that she was scheduled to testify at, she received a call in the middle of the night that was threatening towards her and her toddler.
“It’s clear to me that she would have done anything to get what she wanted,” Doe said in her statement. “Please do not let us down by allowing her the opportunity to further hurt her victims.”
Another woman, Annie Farmer, spoke aloud at the hearing about the abuse she said she suffered at the hands of Maxwell and Epstein.
“She is a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and other young women,” Farmer said. “She has lied under oath and tormented her survivors.”
Maxwell is in custody at a Brooklyn detention centre. Her trial date isn’t until July 2021.
- Read more on Maxwell and Epstein:
- Ghislaine Maxwell tried to run away when the FBI arrived at her New Hampshire house to arrest her
- Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman suspected of helping Jeffrey Epstein run a sex-abuse ring, has been arrested by the FBI
- Here’s the indictment against Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime girlfriend accused of sexually abusing young girls
- Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested at a $US1 million luxury 4-bedroom New Hampshire house that was bought last year in cash
- The life of Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender and well-connected financier who died in jail awaiting sex trafficking charges
- Jeffrey Epstein died by apparent suicide in jail. Here’s everything we know about the convicted sex offender’s past, famous connections, and his court case.