Speaking out for the first time since the new charges were brought against her earlier this week, Ghislaine Maxwell claimed the prosecutors’ motion was nothing but an “obvious tactical gamesmanship.”
Ghislaine Maxwell’s legal team has hit back over her updated indictment, blasting it as “shocking, unfair, and an abuse of power” since it came too close to her trial scheduled for 12 July.
The British socialite’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, accused prosecutors of “obvious tactical gamesmanship” by slapping two new charges, plus to the six previous ones, at such short notice, which, she said, could prompt her to ask for a delay of the proceedings to allow more time for her team to prepare.
Also, Sternheim noted, the new allegations would require “additional investigation” and new time-consuming motions, while she didn’t want Maxwell to stay in jail any longer than needed because of the “onerous” conditions in the Brooklyn federal prison where her defendant is being held.
“Her liberty interests now clash with her right to effective assistance of counsel”, the lawyer, who previously defended one of Osama Bin Laden’s henchmen, explained, stressing that the court “is aware of the extraordinary circumstances of 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 recalled prosecutors stating at Maxwell’s first bail hearing last July that they had no plans to come along with a superseding indictment, with the presumption causing them to slate the trial for July.
The indictment’s updates include two new allegations brought against the socialite and Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend by a woman, who claimed Maxwell had hired her when she was 14.
The indictment claimed that Maxwell “groomed” the underage victim, identified as Minor Victim-4, to engage in sex with the convicted pedophile by candidly chatting about sexual matters and personal family issues with her.
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 purported.
Maxwell’s legal team said that the socialite seeks to be arraigned on the new accusations in person after the dial-in line during a previous hearing was reportedly occupied, or rather hijacked by QAnon conspiracy theorists. Sternheim referred to that ill-fated hearing as a “debacle,” stressing that Maxwell is demanding a bail procedure where witnesses can directly testify on the “purported strength of the government's case.”
The updated indictment may also returns into the public spotlight two big names out of Jeffrey Epstein’s circle from the 2000s – the UK’s Prince Andrew and former US president Bill Clinton. Neither has been so far mentioned in the court files, but the new allegations may ostensibly implicate them in the widely scrutinized court case.
Maxwell was arrested in summer 2020, roughly a year after Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell while he was awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges. He previously served a slightly abridged prison term for soliciting a minor for sex in 2008.
Counting the new allegations, Maxwell is to appear before court on eight federal charges.
Six of them, which include enticing underage children to be abused and perjury, could put her behind bars for up to 35 years, if she is ruled guilty. The 59-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the initial six counts of sex trafficking.