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Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell arrested

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and associate of disgraced financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested by the FBI.

She was arrested in Bradford, N.H., on charges related to Epstein’s case, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan.

Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges that he abused and trafficked women and girls in Manhattan and Florida between 2002 to 2005. He pleaded not guilty and took his own life in his Manhattan jail cell in August after he was denied bail.

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Maxwell will appear before a magistrate court in New Hampshire on Thursday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said at a press conference after the charges were announced.

She is being charged with four counts of conspiring “to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts” from 1994 to 1997 and two counts of perjury for allegedly making false statements to prosecutors. The victims were as young as 14 years old, authorities said.

Strauss said the case against Maxwell "is the prequel to the earlier case we brought against Jeffrey Epstein."

Strauss also said Maxwell “played a critical role” in finding the victims for Epstein.

“Maxwell lied because the truth, as alleged, was almost unspeakable,” she added, referring to the perjury charges.

Maxwell is accused of helping Epstein groom victims by befriending them and taking them on outings prior to the sexual abuse and at times participating in the abuse, according to the indictment.

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“Maxwell’s presence during the minor victims’ interactions with Epstein” while they were being abused “helped put the victims at ease because an adult woman was present,” the indictment reads. 

Maxwell is the daughter of the British media baron Robert Maxwell and was a onetime girlfriend of Epstein's.

Ghislaine Maxwell, who has previously denied any wrongdoing, has been mentioned in litigation against Epstein following his death. Authorities previously did not know where to find her.

Maria Farmer, a former employee of Epstein's, said she was assaulted by him and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Strauss also said on Thursday that prosecutors “would welcome Prince Andrew to come in and talk to us.” The Duke of York, who has been accused by one woman of sexual abuse when she was 17, is a friend of Epstein and Maxwell.

Updated at 12:37 p.m.