Ghislaine Maxwell has fired back about her updated indictment and called it a ‘shocking, unfair abuse of power’ because it comes so close to her trial.
The British socialite accused prosecutors of ‘obvious tactical gamesmanship’ by hitting her with two new charges with four months to go until the trial is set to begin.
Maxwell said she may ask for a delay for her trial, which is due to start on July 12th, because she needs extra time to prepare.
But her lawyers did not want to force Maxwell to spend any more time in prison because the conditions were so harsh that she may not be ‘strong enough to withstand the stress of trial’, they wrote.
Ghislaine Maxwell has fired back about her updated indictment and called it a ‘shocking, unfair abuse of power’ because it comes so close to her trial. Epstein and Maxwell, his right-hand woman, are seen together in June 1995 in New York City
Ghislaine Maxwell was charged with two new counts of sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor
The filing is Maxwell’s first comment since federal prosecutors added sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor to her indictment earlier this week.
The 59-year-old now faces eight counts and has pleaded not guilty to the six previous ones which include enticing underage children to be abused and perjury.
Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said the filing of a superseding indictment by prosecutors in New York presented ‘new and complicating issues’.
The new indictment expands the time frame of allegations from three years to 10 years and now covers 1994 to 2004 and includes two serious charges that ‘drastically change the focus of the case’.
Sternheim wrote: ‘That the government has made this move late in the game – with a trial set for July 12th – is obvious tactical gamesmanship.
‘Adding charges that were never launched against Jeffrey Epstein based on evidence that was in the government’s possession for years is shocking, unfair, and an abuse of power’.
Maxwell, pictured in 2009, was arrested in July and is currently awaiting trial in a Brooklyn jail
Sternheim said the new allegations would require ‘additional investigation’ and new motions.
But Sternheim said she did not want Maxwell to stay in jail any longer than needed because of the tough conditions in the federal prison in Brooklyn where she is being held.
She wrote: ‘Her liberty interests now clash with her right to effective assistance of counsel.
‘The court is aware of the extraordinary circumstances of Ms. Maxwell’s detention, its deleterious effect on her health and well-being, and the realistic concern whether she will be strong enough to withstand the stress of trial’.
Sternheim complained that at Maxwell’s bail hearing last July prosecutors said that they had no plans to file a superseding indictment, and on that basis they agreed to a July 2021 trial date.
She claimed there was ‘no justifiable reason’ to now file an updated indictment and it was done so out of concern about the ‘now-apparent weakness of its case’.
The updated indictment includes two new allegations related to a woman who claims Maxwell recruited her when she was 14.
The document claimed that Maxwell ‘groomed’ the girl, identified only as Minor Victim-4, to engage in sexual acts with Epstein by talking to her about her family life.
Maxwell discussed sexual topics with the victim and was present in the massage room with the girl at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, it is alleged.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, seen in 2005, are accused of raping a woman in 2008
Epstein was arrested in July 2019, aged 66, and killed himself a month later, while awaiting trial
The new accuser, referred to a Minor Victim-4, allegedly met Maxwell at Epstein’s Palm Beach home when she was around 14
Minor Victim- 4 brought ‘multiple females, including girls under the age of 18’ to Epstein and was paid ‘hundreds of dollars in cash’, it is claimed.
In the filing Sternheim said that the additional accuser meant there was little chance of the trial being just two weeks long as prosecutors have previously claimed.
Maxwell’s lawyers also said that she is demanding to be arraigned on the new allegations in person after the dial-in phone line on a previous hearing was hijacked by QAnon conspiracy theorists.
All 500 spots on the public phone line in the separate civil case were occupied and one person live streamed the hearing on YouTube until the judge told them to stop.
Sternheim called that hearing a ‘debacle’ and said that Maxwell is demanding a bail hearing where witnesses can testify regarding the ‘purported strength of the government’s case’.
The updated indictment also puts the spotlight on Epstein’s powerful friends such as Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton as both of them knew Epstein in the early 2000s.
Neither man is mentioned in the court documents but it significantly raises the prospect of them both being brought up at Maxwell’s trial.