Associate of Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested

Cheryl Sanders
July 3, 2020

Onetime British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was one of the "villains" at the center of Jeffrey Epstein's sexual exploitation of girls, prosecutors said in announcing her arrest Thursday on charges of conspiracy and enticing minors to engage in sex.

Ghislaine Maxwell, longtime associate of accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, speaks at a news conference on oceans and sustainable development at the United Nations in NY, U.S. June 25, 2013 in this screengrab taken from United Nations TV file footage.

Ghislaine Maxwell groomed a girl in London in the 1990s before introducing her to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein knowing he would abuse her, court papers claimed today. Prosecutors say she lied under oath during a 2016 deposition about her involvement in procuring victims for Epstein. She was described in a lawsuit by another Epstein victim, Sarah Ransome, as the "highest-ranking employee" of Epstein's alleged sex trafficking enterprise.

Epstein was arrested a year ago in NY on charges of trafficking minors, but was found hanged in an apparent suicide in prison while awaiting trial.

Epstein has been linked socially to numerous powerful figures, from President Donald Trump to former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew. Maxwell is also alleged to have schemed with Epstein to entice and cause "minor victims to travel to Epstein's residences in different states, which Maxwell knew and intended would result in their grooming for and subjection to sexual abuse".

The victim said Epstein and Maxwell took her to the movies, and that Maxwell took her shopping.

Maxwell allegedly attempted to befriend the girls, some who were as young as 14, by "asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families".

An unsealed indictment, reported by Reuters, shows Maxwell charged with six counts, which include enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury, among other related offenses. Her lawyer claimed previous year that Maxwell's e-mail server had been hacked.

After developing a rapport with a victim, Maxwell would try to "normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim", prosecutors alleged.

Ghislaine Maxwell founded environmental nonprofit the TerraMar Project, an oceanic conservation group which took her around the world. It also said she participated in the sexual abuse.

"Jeffrey Epstein did not and could not have acted alone", he said in a written statement. Some of these outings would involve Epstein and Maxwell together with the girls; on other occasions, Maxwell would socialize separately with the young victims, the USA said.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal struck with the then state prosecutor.

That abuse included sexualized massages, during which the minor victim was fully or partially nude.

The arrest involves Maxwell's charges stemming from an investigation by NY federal prosecutors into Epstein's alleged sexual abuse of girls and young women. The perjury charge stems from her 2016 testimony during a case that was pending in NY.

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