Maxwell Assails Sex-Abuse Case in Request to Dismiss Charges
(Bloomberg) -- Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who’s accused of sex-trafficking with her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, asked a court to throw out all charges against her, saying the government violated her rights to obtain evidence, has presented vague allegations and is depriving her of a fair trial.
Maxwell has been fighting the U.S. charges since her arrest last July. She’s accused of conspiring with Epstein to provide him with underage girls so he could sexually abuse them and also with participating in some of the abuse. She’s being held in a federal jail in Brooklyn, New York, awaiting trial scheduled in July.
Her lawyers argued in a series of filings late Monday that the government’s case against her is a “mishmash” that fails to identify an accuser, a date on which she’s alleged to have committed any crime or any acts she took to help further the conspiracy.
The government’s indictment “was carefully crafted to not provide Ms. Maxwell with the necessary information to adequately investigate these false allegations and prepare for trial,” the defense lawyers said.
If the judge doesn’t agree to dismiss the four charges involving the alleged sex-trafficking scheme, prosecutors should be required to provide a so-called “bill of particulars” that lays out more details about the alleged crimes, her lawyers said.
“Ms. Maxwell is innocent and should not have to guess about what evidence the government claims warrants her continual incarceration but stubbornly refuses to identify or disclose,” her attorneys said.
Prosecutors allege Maxwell conspired with Epstein in a sex-trafficking scheme between 1994 and 1997. Epstein was arrested in his own sex-trafficking case in 2019, but was later found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in what authorities later ruled a suicide.
Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, whose office is prosecuting the case, declined to comment. Prosecutors are scheduled to file a response to Maxwell in the coming weeks.
In one of a dozen filings late Monday, Maxwell’s defense team claimed prosecutors indicted her despite a 2007 non-prosecution agreement Epstein reached with prosecutors that she says also shielded her from being charged.
In another filing, Maxwell argued prosecutors used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to steer the case to a predominantly White federal grand jury in the New York suburb of White Plains, and “procured” an indictment against her. The Oxford-educated socialite, whose father, British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, was once ranked among the world’s richest men, said Blacks and Hispanics were excluded from the grand jury panel in violation of her right to a fair trial.
“The fact that Ms Maxwell herself is neither Black nor Hispanic does not deprive of her of standing to raise this challenge,” her lawyers said.
Maxwell also accused prosecutors of a “publicity-driven desire” to arrest her by the one-year anniversary of Epstein’s indictment in July 2019.
She also asked for a separate trail on two perjury counts tied to sworn testimony she gave in 2016 as part of a defamation suit brought by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre. Maxwell said the government improperly used her testimony in the civil suit to introduce evidence of events that occurred decades after the alleged sex-trafficking scheme with Epstein. Prosecutors used Maxwell’s testimony as a basis for the two perjury counts.
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