US prosecutors’s case against Ghislaine Maxwell widens as new charges brought


Ms Maxwell “enticed and groomed” the girl to engage in sex acts with Epstein, “through a variety of means and methods,” the new charges read.   - AFP

Ms Maxwell “enticed and groomed” the girl to engage in sex acts with Epstein, “through a variety of means and methods,” the new charges read. – AFP

US prosecutors have filed new sex trafficking charges against Ghislaine Maxwell, alleging she recruited and groomed a teenage girl as recently as 2004.

The US government on Monday night widened its case against Ms Maxwell, 59, who is currently in prison in New York awaiting trial over accusations she aided in the abuse of three other women and girls. The British socialite has denied the charges.

The previous charges centred on claims of abuse dating back to 1994-1997. The later date of 2004 would bring the allegations into the time period Ms Maxwell and former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein were meeting with Prince Andrew.

Monday’s superseding amended indictment adds a fourth victim, saying that between 2001 and 2004 Maxwell and Epstein recruited an unnamed 14-year-old girl to engage in sex acts with Epstein at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in New York - Reuters

Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in New York – Reuters

Ms Maxwell “enticed and groomed” the girl to engage in sex acts with Epstein, “through a variety of means and methods,” the new charges read.

Ms Maxwell “would give the victims hundreds of dollars in cash” to massage Epstein and “encouraged them to engage in sex acts” with the late paedophile financier.

Prosecutors allege she also sought to “normalise inappropriate and abusive conduct by, among other things, discussing sexual topics in front of Minor Victim 4 and being present when Minor Victim- 4 was nude in the massage room of the Palm Beach Residence.”

Ms Maxwell, who is now facing an eight-count indictment, lost her third appeal bid earlier this month. Her legal team has since filed a plea to have it overturned by the US Court of Appeals.

Ms Maxwell’s lawyers did not immediately comment on the latest court filing.

The Duke of York has said he first met Epstein in 1999 through Ms Maxwell, whom he had known since she was at university. That year was the first time the prince and the businessman were linked in media reports.

Virigina Roberts Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, alleges he forced her to have sex with the Duke in Ms Maxwell’s London home when she was 17 in 2001. Prince Andrew has vigorously denied the accusations and there is no suggestion the Duke was aware of the latest allegations made in the Eastern District of New York court filing at the time.

Prince Andrew was photographed with Epstein in Central Park in December 2010.

Ms Maxwell’s trial has been scheduled for early July, and prosecutors on Monday said that they will help ensure that the defence has adequate time to prepare for it in light of the new charges.

The prosecution said it will begin its production to the defence of non-testifying witness statements by mid-April.

“This production will include the statements of more than 250 witnesses related to the investigation of Jeffrey Epstein and his associates in the government’s possession,” Prosecutor Audrey Strauss wrote.



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