07:20 GMT05 December 2020
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    Disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is awaiting trial in Brooklyn over charges that she participated in Epstein's crimes, after he was accused of trafficking underage girls for sex to dignitaries and celebrities at his New York and Florida residences.

    Two women who earlier accused convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein of sexual assault have dropped their charges against his estate and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, media outlets reported on Tuesday, citing court documents.

    The first alleged victim, Jennifer Araoz, sued Maxwell in mid-September, accusing her of assisting Epstein in trafficking her for sex at the age of 14. According to court papers, she said that the socialite abused victims who were psychologically or financially vulnerable.

    There remains, however, another lawsuit filed by Araoz against the estate of the ex-financier, claiming that Epstein raped her when she was 15.

    The second accuser, who filed a lawsuit against Epstein's estate under the name Jane Doe VII (not her real name) in December 2019, claims that Epstein sexually abused her at the age of 22.

    The report that Araoz and Jane Doe VII have dropped complaints could possibly suggest that they have been paid off under a compensation fund for Epstein's victims, which began issuing money in late September, as it had received claims from at least 50 accusers.

    Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in August 2019. According to authorities, he committed suicide as charges on sex trafficking and paedophilia were pending on him.

    The circumstances of his death, including mysteriously missing footage of his cell on the day of the supposed suicide, triggered speculation in the media that the disgraced financier was killed so that he could not testify against his high-profile friends. The list of the frequent guests at sex parties Epstein arranged at his mansions allegedly includes Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and other high-profile politicians and celebrities.

    Epstein was facing a prison sentence of up to 45 years.

    paedophilia, Prince Andrew, US, Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, United Kingdom
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