10:19 GMT22 January 2021
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    The case of Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell was transferred to a US federal court following her Thursday arrest, and she was placed in the custody of US Marshals Service federal police officers.

    Maxwell's criminal case was ordered transferred to the Southern District of New York on Thursday by a federal judge in New Hampshire, where she had been arrested earlier in the day. The 58-year-old's indictment was filed in that district.

    Accused of having crafted a network to lure underage girls to American financier Epstein, who then sexually abused them, the British socialite faces 35 years in prison if convicted on all charges. She has been charged with four counts related to procuring and transporting minors for illegal sex acts and two of perjury.

    “Maxwell was among Epstein’s closest associates and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old,” acting Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said on Thursday, according to Reuters. “Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein to identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse. In some cases, Maxwell participated in the abuse herself.”

    She was arrested in New Hampshire on Thursday by FBI agents, where she had been hiding out since December. 

    Epstein, 66, was arrested last summer, but died in an apparent suicide while in police custody on August 10, 2019.


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