2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell seems through video hyperlink throughout her arraignment listening to in Manhattan Federal Courtroom in New York 2/2 By Jonathan Stempel and Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) -British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not responsible on Friday to federal intercourse trafficking costs within the case accusing her of serving to
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell seems through video hyperlink throughout her arraignment listening to in Manhattan Federal Courtroom in New York
By Jonathan Stempel and Karen Freifeld
NEW YORK (Reuters) -British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not responsible on Friday to federal intercourse trafficking costs within the case accusing her of serving to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein recruit and sexually abuse ladies.
Maxwell, 59, entered her plea via her lawyer earlier than U.S. District Decide Alison Nathan in Manhattan.
The fees had been included in an eight-count indictment unveiled on March 29. It was the primary time Maxwell had confronted a decide in particular person since her arrest final July.
Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of grooming and paying a lady who, beginning at age 14, gave Epstein nude massages and engaged in intercourse acts with him from 2001 to 2004, and mentioned the lady recruited others to supply erotic massages.
Maxwell beforehand pleaded not responsible to costs she helped Epstein recruit and groom three different ladies for him to sexually abuse from 1994 to 1997, and dedicated perjury.
Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019, one month after being arrested on intercourse trafficking costs.
Maxwell’s trial stays scheduled for July 12 offered a courtroom is out there, however her attorneys are looking for a 120 or 180-day delay due to the brand new costs, a request prosecutors oppose.
“Ghislaine is wanting ahead to that trial,” a spokesman, David Markus, mentioned after the arraignment. “She’s wanting ahead to preventing and she is going to combat.”
Nathan has not determined whether or not to delay the trial, however mentioned she needs to start out as shut as doable to July 12 if there have been no delay.
In a letter launched after the arraignment, attorneys for Maxwell proposed beginning on Nov. 8, 2021 or Jan. 10, 2022.
Maxwell faces as much as 80 years in jail if convicted on all costs.
The 2 perjury counts could be dealt with individually in a second trial.
Friday’s listening to marked the primary time Maxwell has publicly appeared in particular person since her arrest final July at her dwelling in New Hampshire.
Prosecutors mentioned she had been hiding out, whereas Maxwell’s attorneys mentioned she moved there to flee incessant detrimental media publicity. Since her arrest, she has been jailed in Brooklyn.
Maxwell wore a loose-fitting, blue short-sleeve shirt and white face masks, along with her darkish hair reaching under her shoulders. Her older sister, Isabel Maxwell, attended the listening to. Maxwell had appeared by video for her prior arraignment.
Legal professionals for Maxwell have complained that she has suffered from weight and hair loss in jail, which prosecutors have denied.
Nathan has denied bail 3 times, calling Maxwell a considerable flight danger regardless of a proposed $28.5 million bail bundle.
On Monday, Maxwell’s attorneys are anticipated to argue earlier than the federal appeals courtroom in Manhattan that the third bail denial needs to be overturned.
NOT A ‘MONSTER’
In looking for a trial delay, Maxwell’s attorneys cited the “voluminous” quantities of proof, blamed prosecutors for being too gradual to show over supplies, and mentioned jail restrictions have impeded Maxwell from getting ready her protection.
The attorneys have additionally repeatedly solid doubt on whether or not their shopper may even get a good trial, faulting the media for treating her as a “monster” due to the “Epstein impact.”
Prosecutors have pledged to make “important efforts” to make sure that Maxwell was ready for a July trial.
In addition they mentioned a delay would additionally hurt the 4 alleged victims, saying two have reported important stress from the case and expressed a need to go to trial.
“Everyone felt that they had been cheated by Mr. Epstein’s demise,” David Boies, a lawyer for a few of Epstein’s and Maxwell’s accusers, mentioned after the arraignment.
“Now that Miss Maxwell goes to go to trial,” he added, “I believe that’s one thing that they are wanting ahead to.”
Even when no delay had been granted, a July 12 begin is just not assured.
Solely seven courtrooms within the Manhattan courthouse have been reconfigured for the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate jury trials, in keeping with a courtroom spokesman.
Jailed defendants in legal instances get larger precedence for jury trials, however some defendants are forward of Maxwell.