Ghislaine Maxwell under investigation for 'sex trafficking' in U.S. Virgin Islands

Ruben Fields
July 14, 2020

If found guilty, Maxwell could face up to 35 years in federal prison.

Under the proposed bail conditions, Ms Maxwell, 58, would surrender her passports from the US, UK and France and would confine herself to a property in NY with electronic Global Positioning System monitoring.

"The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell arise from her essential role in sexual exploitation that caused deep and lasting harm to vulnerable victims", prosecutors wrote.

Jaimie Nawaday, a former prosecutor in the SDNY, told the New York Post that under normal circumstances her jetsetter background might have been enough to keep her in jail, but the coronavirus outbreak has upended typical bail agreements.

Maxwell, 58, has been held without bail since her July 2 arrest at her million-dollar New Hampshire estate, where prosecutors say she refused to open the door for Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, who busted through to find that she had retreated to an interior room.

An indictment alleged that she helped groom the victims to endure sexual abuse and was sometimes there when Epstein abused them.

Maxwell's lawyers said in court papers Friday she intends to argue she can not be prosecuted because of the agreement, a defence Manhattan federal prosecutors on Monday called "absurd".

"There will be no trial for the victims if the defendant is afforded the opportunity to flee the jurisdiction, and there is every reason to think that is exactly what she will do if she is released", prosecutors wrote in a court filing Monday.

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The details were cited in court documents during arguments against Maxwell's request for a $5 million bond while she awaits her trial.

Maxwell has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and her lawyers have said she "vigorously denies the charges" and is "entitled to the presumption of innocence".

Maxwell, who is already facing six charges in NY, sued Epstein's estate through a court in the Virgin Islands earlier this year to obtain reimbursement for legal fees she was incurring from suits brought by his alleged victims, claiming that Epstein had repeatedly promised to support her financially. And they also revealed that additional individuals have offered the government evidence to support its case since Maxwell's arrest.

The descriptions were made as prosecutors sought to boost arguments that the 58-year-old citizen of the US, the United Kingdom and France should remain behind bars until trial. Their latest filing repeats their concerns that Maxwell is a citizen of several countries, has access to "considerable wealth" and "appears to be skilled at living in hiding".

When FBI agents went to arrest Ms Maxwell at a mansion in New Hampshire on July 3, instead of obeying the agent's order to open the door, Ms Maxwell fled to another room and closed the door behind her, according to the court filing.

Her lawyers didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment Monday.

Maxwell is now being held at a federal jail in Brooklyn.

She claims to not have been in contact with him in more than a decade.

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