Ghislaine Maxwell and U.S. in Battle Over Naming of Her Accusers
(Bloomberg) -- Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers and prosecutors are at loggerheads over whether some of the alleged victims in her sex-trafficking case can be publicly named prior to trial.
Maxwell’s lawyers argue they should be permitted to openly identify anyone who has granted media interviews about Maxwell or Jeffrey Epstein, accused them in a public forum or an internet posting or sued them.
Prosecutor Alex Rossmiller called the request “extraordinarily broad, unnecessary and inappropriate.” In a memo to the court, he also criticized Maxwell’s claim that any woman who went public with her allegations of abuse by Maxwell and Epstein had obtained a “benefit,” by identifying themselves.
While not objecting to Maxwell identifying accusers who’ve already come forward, Rossmiller said those who haven’t gone public should have their privacy protected under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. He said that’s “reasonable” because Maxwell and her legal team will know the names of all the women to prepare for her trial even if the public doesn’t.
In an indictment unsealed July 2, Maxwell is accused of engaging in a sex-trafficking scheme with Epstein by luring three underage girls so the financier could sexually abuse them. The three victims are identified in the indictment only as “Jane Does.”
At least 16 women came forward last year at a hearing held before the federal judge presiding over Epstein’s sex-trafficking case dismissed the indictment after he committed suicide while awaiting trial.
Maxwell, 58, who has pleaded not guilty, is being held at a federal jail in Brooklyn, New York, and is scheduled to go to trial next July.
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