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Ghislaine Maxwell’s bid to dismiss intercourse trafficking, perjury expenses rejected

A federal judge in New York declined several offers from Ghislaine Maxwell to file criminal charges against her, but agreed to bring her underage sex trafficking charges separate from two perjury charges she has also faced.

Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in July 2020 on charges of recruiting and caring for three girls abused by Epstein between 1994 and 1997 who allegedly were involved in the abuse of one of the girls themselves.

She was also charged with perjury for testifying in 2016 about her knowledge of Epstein’s abuse of girls. Those statements came in a libel suit brought against them by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

Last month, prosecutors filed a new charge against Maxwell. They added a fourth victim, who allegedly was recruited, cared for and ill-treated between 2001 and 2004, and added two additional charges, including sex trafficking in minors.

Connected: PERVERSION OF JUSTICE: Read Jeffrey Epstein’s investigation by the Miami Herald in 2018

US District Judge Alison Nathan agreed to separate the perjury charges and feared that the perjury charge combined with the sex trafficking charges would risk an “unfair trial.” Their reasoning was that it would potentially require a long discussion of sexual abuse allegations against Epstein, who was accused of molesting hundreds of girls, and could result in one or more of their attorneys being called as witnesses, as some of them they also represented civil action in the EU.

David S. Weinstein, a former federal attorney who is now a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson, said the separation of the perjury charges did not affect the government’s case against Maxwell badly.

“This does them the least harm,” he said.

He said he thought the sex trafficking charge would likely be brought to trial first, and that the perjury charge would likely only be brought to trial if Maxwell were acquitted of the sex trafficking charges.

Numerous victims have claimed Maxwell recruited dozens of girls for Epstein and raided schools and spas under the guise of recruits giving Epstein a massage. She and Epstein have also been accused of instructing girls to have sex with their powerful friends, including Britain’s Prince Andrew, former US Senator George Mitchell, and prominent lawyer Alan Dershowitz. All the men have denied the allegations, and Dershowitz and Giuffre have sued each other for defamation.

Prosecutors say Maxwell’s alleged caring for the victims included making friends with them and then normalizing the idea of ​​sexual activity with him.

“Maxwell’s presence as an adult woman helped calm the victims as Maxwell and Epstein intended,” said Audrey Strauss, the US attorney in the southern borough of New York, at a press conference after Maxwell was arrested last year was.

Nathan denied Maxwell’s arguments that the initial indictment involved activities that went beyond the statute of limitations and were not brought in time, and that the language used in the indictments was too vague. She also dismissed Maxwell’s argument that the charges against her were unfair because it was announced by a grand jury in White Plains, New York, rather than Manhattan, where the trial is planned, because White Plains is less diverse than Manhattan . The locale has been moved to the White Plains due to COVID-19 concerns.

Nathan wrote that the new indictment filed by the prosecution last month essentially challenges the last argument as it was filed by a grand jury in Manhattan.

Numerous victims have claimed Maxwell recruited dozens of girls for Epstein and raided schools and spas under the guise of recruits giving Epstein a massage. She and Epstein have also been accused of instructing girls to have sex with their powerful friends, including Britain’s Prince Andrew, former US Senator George Mitchell, and prominent lawyer Alan Dershowitz. All the men have denied the allegations, and Dershowitz and Giuffre have sued each other for defamation.

Prosecutors say Maxwell’s alleged caring for the victims included making friends with them and then normalizing the idea of ​​sexual activity with him.

“Maxwell’s presence as an adult woman helped calm the victims, as Maxwell and Epstein intended,” said Audrey Strauss, the US attorney in the southern borough of New York, at a press conference after Maxwell was arrested last year .

Nathan denied Maxwell’s arguments that the initial indictment involved activities that went beyond the statute of limitations and were not brought in time, and that the language used in the indictments was too vague. She also dismissed Maxwell’s argument that the charges against her were unfair because it was announced by a grand jury in White Plains, New York, rather than Manhattan, where the trial is planned, because White Plains is less diverse than Manhattan . The locale has been moved to the White Plains due to COVID-19 concerns.

Nathan wrote that the new indictment filed by the prosecution last month essentially challenges the last argument as it was filed by a grand jury in Manhattan.

Maxwell was arrested nearly a year after the new charges were brought against Epstein, and documents that were unsealed on Friday shed more light on the circumstances surrounding those charges.

In a 212-page counterargument to Maxwell’s various attempts to dismiss or amend the charges against her, the government defended the speed with which it brought charges against Maxwell, writing that two of the three alleged victims were listed in Maxwell’s initial indictment were only brought forward after Epstein’s death in August 2019.

Maxwell’s trial is currently set to begin on July 12th, although Maxwell’s attorneys recently asked to postpone the trial by at least 90 days because of the new indictment and the added complexity of preparing them.

“The government has added a brand new case to the existing case,” wrote Maxwell attorney Bobbi C. Sternheim in a letter on Thursday.

Sternheim said that due to the coordination challenges among Maxwell’s defense lawyers, they don’t expect to be tried before January 2022.

She wrote that prosecutors currently believe the trial will take at least four weeks and that the government has so far handed over more than 214,000 images and hundreds of hours of video as part of more than 2.4 million pages of potential evidence.

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