The judge found there was no evidence behind several of the British socialites various motions to toss the sex-trafficking charges against her.
A Manhattan federal judge has refused to dismiss charges against Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of grooming underage girls for sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
On Friday, Judge Alison Nathan denied the British socialites various motions to toss the original indictment against her. Nathan also ruled that Epsteins 2008 non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorneys Office in Miamiwhich shielded him and his alleged co-conspirators from federal chargesdoes not apply to Maxwell.
No evidence suggests anyone promised Epstein that the NPA would bar the prosecution of his co-conspirators in other districts. Absent such a promise, it does not matter who did or did not approve it, Alison wrote in her order.
Nathan did, however, grant Maxwells request for a separate trial for the perjury charges she faces in connection to the sex-trafficking investigation.
According to the indictment, Maxwell recruited and groomed three minor girls for Epstein between 1994 and 1997 and enticed them to travel to his mansions in New York, New Mexico and Florida, as well as her London townhouse.
Maxwell, 59, also faces two counts of perjury in connection to a 2016 deposition in a defamation suit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims Maxwell and Epstein kept her as their sex slave and sent her to their powerful friends to be abused.
Trying the perjury and sex-trafficking related charges together would risk an unfair trial on each set of counts, Nathan ruled, adding that the jury could be exposed to unrelated allegations of sexual abuse which might otherwise not be admissable.
In particular, a joint trial would potentially expose the jury to a wider swath of information regarding civil litigation against Epstein that is remote from Maxwells charged conduct. This presents a significant risk that the jury will cumulate the evidence of the various crimes charged and find guilt when, if considered separately, it would not do so, she added.
Meanwhile, Nathan dismissed other arguments from Maxwells lawyers, who claimed the government delayed charging her and damaged her ability to defend herself, and that the media attention had compromised her right to a fair trial.
Maxwell contends that lengthy public interest in this case has transformed her reputation from that of Epsteins friend to a co-conspirator. And she also allegeswithout evidencethat her accusers fabricated their stories based on media allegations, Nathan wrote. The Court will not dismiss the indictment on Maxwells bare assertion that numerous witnesses are engaged in a perjurious conspiracy against her.
Last month, federal prosecutors added a fourth minor victim to their case and two new sex-trafficking charges against the heiress.