Prosecutors could charge more of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking co-conspirators as ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell fights to keep court deposition from four years ago secret
- Federal grand jury investigation against Jeffrey Epstein is continuing, court papers filed in New York suggest
- Epstein’s madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, is in federal custody in Brooklyn and awaiting trial on charges of child sex trafficking
- Maxwell is trying to prevent statements she made in a court deposition four years ago from coming to light
- Lawyers have argued that statements made during civil case brought by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged sex slaves, could deny Maxwell a fair trial
- Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges that she helped steer dozens of underage girls to be used as Epstein’s sex slaves
- Giuffre has alleged that she was forced to have sex with several prominent men connected to Epstein, including Prince Andrew and Alan Dershowitz
- The men have denied the allegations
The federal grand jury investigation into alleged sex trafficking and abuse of dozens of underage girls by Jeffrey Epstein and his ‘madam,’ Ghislaine Maxwell, is ongoing and could net additional charges against co-conspirators.
Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse three girls, who prosecutors did not publicly name, from 1994 to 1997, and to committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.
She was arrested on July 2 in New Hampshire, where prosecutors said she was trying to evade capture, and is being held in a Brooklyn jail after a judge called her a flight risk.
In total Maxwell is facing six counts – four relating to child sex trafficking, and two of perjury for lying under oath about the trafficking during a previous lawsuit.
The federal grand jury investigation into alleged sex trafficking and abuse of dozens of underage girls by Jeffrey Epstein and his ‘madam,’ Ghislaine Maxwell, is ongoing and could net additional charges against co-conspirators. A court sketch of Maxwell is seen right from July
If convicted on all charges, she is facing up to 35 years behind bars.
Maxwell’s trial is scheduled for next July.
Epstein was found hanged at age 66 last August in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
‘As the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has stated publicly, the investigation into the conduct of the defendant in this case and other possible co-conspirators of Jeffrey Epstein remains active,’ federal prosecutors wrote in a court filing cited by the Miami Herald.
‘The full scope and details of that investigation, however, have not been made public.’
Meanwhile, Maxwell’s lawyers claimed her chance of a fair trial on criminal charges she aided Epstein’s sexual abuse of girls could be destroyed by substantial negative publicity if a deposition she gave four years ago were publicly released.
Maxwell’s lawyers are asking a court to deny the release of papers from a deposition taken during a civil suit brought by one of Epstein’s alleged sex slaves, Virginia Giuffre (seen above holding a photo of herself at age 16, when she says she was abused sexually by Epstein)
The lawyers made the argument in a Thursday night filing asking the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to reverse a lower court judge’s order to unseal the deposition and other documents.
Maxwell’s deposition had been taken in April 2016 for a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit against the British socialite by Virginia Giuffre, who said Epstein kept her as a ‘sex slave’ with Maxwell’s assistance.
Lawyers for Maxwell said the unsealing order did not take into proper account their client’s privacy interests or the promise of confidentiality she received before being deposed.
‘If the unsealing order goes into effect, it will forever let the cat out of the bag,’ the lawyers said, warning that ‘intimate, sensitive, and personal information’ about Maxwell might ‘spread like wildfire across the Internet.’
The lawyers also said an unsealing would cause irreversible and unconstitutional negative publicity, and undermine the ‘truth-seeking function’ of Maxwell’s trial by leading witnesses to ‘recast their memories of events from decades ago.’
Giuffre has been one of Epstein’s most visible accusers, and her lawyers have said the public has a right to see Maxwell’s deposition.
Lawyers for Maxwell disagreed, saying her constitutional rights to remain silent and get a fair trial by an impartial jury outweigh any presumption of public access.
Maxwell would not be required to testify at her trial.
A lawyer for Giuffre did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 22.
Some documents from the defamation case were released last month.
Maxwell’s lawyers asked the appeals court for permission to seal more than 1,000 pages of additional materials, which include her deposition, filed with the appeal.
Maxwell is separately seeking to have prosecutors identify the three accusers in her indictment and challenging her confinement conditions at the Brooklyn jail, saying she is being treated worse than other pretrial inmates.
Maxwell faces charges of sex trafficking of dozens of underage girls who were abused by Epstein. Three of the alleged victims – from left: Sarah Ransome, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Marijke Chartouni – are pictured above last year
In 2014 Giuffre named Alan Dershowitz as one of several prominent men she was forced to have sex with, including Glenn Dubin, Stephen Kaufmann, Prince Andrew, Jean-Luc Brunel, Bill Richardson, and George Mitchell.
All of the men have denied the allegations.
Giuffre sued Dershowitz in 2019 claiming he had made ‘false and malicious defamatory statements against her’ in the process of making vociferous denials.
The veteran attorney responded by vowing to prove she was a liar in open court and predicted Giuffre would end up behind bars herself for perjury.
Dershowitz was back in the Epstein crosshairs last month after his name appeared in a tranche of newly unsealed documents revisiting accusations that he had sex with ‘Jane Doe 3’, who is identified elsewhere as Giuffre.
He told DailyMail.com the allegations that dated back to 2014 were ‘old news’ and that he has denied them numerous times.
Epstein was initially charged with sex trafficking in Florida in 2006, before being hit with a 53-page FBI indictment the following year.
In 2008, he was offered a controversial plea deal that saw him sentenced to 18 months in prison for soliciting underage prostitutes.
He was then rearrested in July 2019 and charged with sex trafficking, when he was moved to a maximum security jail in Manhattan.
On August 10 he was found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck and later died in what was officially ruled a suicide.
Epstein had been on suicide watch but was taken off just days before his death, on the condition that he be placed with a cellmate and constantly monitored.
But the day before his body was found his cellmate was moved out and not replaced, and guards failed to carry out checks on him.
During her pre-trial incarceration, Maxwell is being watched by a team of prison psychiatrists who are compiling a secret file on her mental health, her lawyers have claimed.
In a letter protesting about the ‘uniquely onerous conditions of her confinement’ in a Brooklyn jail, her legal team claim she has been kept under constant surveillance without her consent.
Maxwell is asking the judge in her case to order that her lockup conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center be modified to be the same as other inmates.
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