A federal judge denied bail for Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of participating in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex abuse scandal.
What we know:
- Maxwell pleaded not guilty at her bail hearing in the Manhattan federal court. Her attorney sought her release on a $5 million bond, but Judge Alison Nathan said Maxwell poses “a substantial risk of flight.” The judge cited Maxwell’s wealth, overseas citizenship, and international connections.
- Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison on several charges related to her recruitment and trafficking of underrage girls. U.S. attorney for New York’s southern district, Audrey Strauss, alleged that Maxwell also abused the girls herself.
- The court heard from two of Epstein’s alleged victims. Annie Farmer, who was 16 at the time of her abuse, told the court about her experiences with Maxwell. “She’s a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other children and young women. She has never shown any remorse for her heinous crimes or the devastating, lasting effects her actions caused,” Farmer told the court.
- The prosecutor arguing against Maxwell’s bail request told the judge that she had faked her identity when buying her New Hampshire house: the house where she was arrested on July 2. Prosecutor Alison Moe told the court that Maxwell posed as a journalist named “Jen Marshall” and the house was purchased by a separate legal entity. Moe added that Maxwell’s proclivity for deception and wealth of foreign assets are additional reasons that she should be denied bail.
Maxwell waived her physical appearance in the court due to the pandemic. The two hour hearing was heard on a conference call by more than 1,000 people. Judge Nathan scheduled Maxwell’s trial to begin on July 12, 2021.