ex-collaborator Ghislaine Maxwell does not plead guilty but remains in prison

Former collaborator and lover of financier Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to trafficking in minors and encouraging prostitution, during a hearing at the federal court in Manhattan. His request for exemption was denied.

At a federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, July 14, former co-worker and lover of financier Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, did not plead guilty to trafficking in minors and inciting prostitution.

This choice of the accused is currently depriving the US authorities of a potentially explosive testimony, which will probably involve, in addition to Jeffrey Epstein, leading personalities. Personality in jet-set, she is accused of ” recruiting young girls, some of them minors, to Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in August 2019.

Federal Judge Alison Nathan has set July 12, 2021, as the beginning of the trial and ordered the 50-year-old to remain in custody until then. Former British media mogul Robert Maxwell has asked for a guarantee. She had offered guarantees of up to five million dollars for this. Manhattan’s federal prosecutor, Audrey Strauss, objected to the request, saying the accused posed an “extreme” risk of going out. Judge Nathan agreed to the indictment on Tuesday, given that the accused showed a proven risk of flight.

The heir has fifteen bank accounts totaling $ 20 million, the prosecutor said. She has a network of acquaintances abroad and has three passports, including a French one: if she took refuge across the Atlantic, she could escape extradition.

Portable wrapped in aluminum

The terms of her July 2 arrest in New Hampshire also suggest she may be tempted to flee. When the FBI entered the property where she was hiding and asked her to open the door, Ghislaine Maxwell did not answer and sought refuge in another room, according to court documents quoted by New York times. When the house was inspected, the police found a mobile phone wrapped in aluminum, proof that they had tried to cover the tracks.

His driving fascinated Americans for almost a year. A few days after the announcement of Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide, a photo of her, sitting at a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles, made a book about espionage under her nose. It was his lawyer friend who took the picture, whose intention is still unclear to this day: was it a provocation?

If so, it did not last long: Ghislaine Maxwell then lived in hiding until her arrest. The prosecution provided some details about her recent months in New Hampshire. The 63-hectare property was bought in December by a front company. His brother previously hired British soldiers to keep him safe on the spot and a guard acted for him.

Golden childhood

A lonely life, far from his jet-set years and his golden childhood. Born in France in Maisons-Laffitte in 1961, the heir to the Maxwell Empire is the youngest of nine children. Growing up in luxury in England, she participated in British society after studying at Oxford.

His father Robert, at the head of a fortune estimated at $ 1.9 billion, died in 1991 in worrying circumstances. He boarded his yacht, named “Lady Ghislaine”, in honor of his favorite child, off the Canary Islands, when he was in serious debt. Ghislaine Maxwell always thought he had been murdered. She inherits a $ 100,000-a-year pension and moves into real estate in the United States.

It was in New York, in the early 1990s, that she met Jeffrey Epstein. They will rub shoulders with the elite Upper East Side, including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. The relationship between the two characters remains mysterious. Ghislaine Maxwell is described alternately as ex-partner, best friend, superintendent and mother of Jeffrey Epstein.

Weak stories

A wealth of testimonies appeared in August last year, when the publication of over 2000 pages of documents related to a defamation complaint filed in 2015 by an alleged victim Virginia Giuffre. Several women accuse Ghislaine Maxwell of recruiting them to satisfy the sexual needs of her friend and famous personalities such as Prince Andrew of England or even Jean-Luc Brunel, the French head of a modeling agency. Virginia Giuffre even claims that Ghislaine Maxwell participated in the abuses that the financier subjected her to. Another woman, Johanna Sjoberg, says she heard Ghislaine Maxwell talk about one of her recruits as her “sex slave”.

Weak stories are collected in these justice documents. A prosecutor, Sarah Ransome, claims that the couple withdrew their passports when she was abused on the millionaire’s private island … a Caribbean island called “Pedophile island”. A former butler said he saw “more than 100 girls” mated through his Palm Beach home over a ten-year period. After each visit, he cleaned up the massage room and assured that he put away the “sex toys” … in Ghislaine Maxwell’s closet.

Well-kept secrets

If the latter admitted in 2016 to having hired masseurs for Jeffrey Epstein, she rejects sexual character in these meetings. From 2008, when the financier was convicted of calling a minor prostitute, she stopped appearing with him in public. But the past got her last year after the arrest of her former companion. Jeffrey Epstein no longer lives in front of his accusers, Ghislaine Maxwell is now at the center of the case.

Faced with six charges, including participation in a pedophile network and incitement to prostitution, she faces life in prison.

With AFP