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Ghislaine Maxwell arrest: Jeffrey Epstein associate charged by FBI

The Independent logo The Independent 02/07/2020 Danielle Zoellner


(Video by Fox News)

Jeffrey Epstein‘s associate Ghislaine Maxwell has been charged by the FBI with multiple counts of sex exploitation and abuse of minor girls.

The British socialite and heiress was a confidante to the disgraced financier. She later faced accusations of her own involvement in his sex crimes.

Her arrest comes just a few days before the anniversary of Epstein’s arrest last year on sex-trafficking charges, which alleged he exploited and transferred underage girls between New York and Florida. Epstein, 66, later killed himself in federal prison, according to the medical examiner.

Ms Maxwell, who has kept a low-profile since 2016, was arrested in New Hampshire on Epstein-related charges and is expected to appear in federal court later today, News 4 New York first reported.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 3: Ghislaine Maxwell attends Polo Ralph Lauren host Victories of Athlete Ally at Polo Ralph Lauren Store on November 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images) © 2015 Patrick McMullan NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 3: Ghislaine Maxwell attends Polo Ralph Lauren host Victories of Athlete Ally at Polo Ralph Lauren Store on November 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

During a press conference with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), which is prosecuting the case, the FBI said they had been tracking Maxwell for months when she "slithered" away to a property in New Hampshire. This sparked the arrest on Thursday.

At one point Ms Maxwell, the daughter of media baron Robert Maxwell, was Epstein’s girlfriend and then became a close friend to him. But she also allegedly helped Epstein groom and procure young girls to the wealthy elite.

The indictment against Ms Maxwell, passed up by a grand jury in Manhattan, stated the woman "assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein's abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse the victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18."

It added some of the victims were as young as 14, with the abuse starting from "at least in or about" 1994 to about 1997.

"In some instances, Ms Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims," the indictment added.

Six counts are listed in the indictment, including conspiracy to to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury.

Despite Epstein’s death, prosecutors continue to investigate his sex crimes, leaving open the possibility for associates involved to be charged with crimes.

One day before his suicide, on 10 August 2019, federal prosecutors released a transcript of a 2016 deposition where Epstein refused to say if Ms Maxwell was involved in procuring young girls.

The indictment released on Thursday cited Ms Maxwell for "knowingly" making false declarations in 2016 after taking an oath to testify truthfully.

The 58-year-old was previously accused in multiple civil suits by Epstein’s victims of helping procure young girls for the financier. One of the victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, made the accusation in a 2015 defamation suit.

Ms Giuffre claimed in her since-settled suit that she was forced to have sex with Epstein and his close friend Prince Andrew. Both Ms Maxwell and Prince Andrew have denied the allegations.



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