Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not guilty in Epstein case
Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges accusing her of helping the late financier recruit and groom girls to sexually abuse.
Maxwell appeared remotely Tuesday from a Brooklyn federal prison for her bail hearing in Manhattan federal court, CNBC reported. Her attorneys asked for a $5 million bail amount, while prosecutors want her detained without bail, saying she is an extreme flight risk.
Epstein’s former girlfriend faces six sex crime and perjury charges. Authorities say she helped entice and transport minors to engage in sexual acts in the mid-1990s. Her trial is scheduled to begin July 12, 2021, and is expected to take three weeks, according to the news outlet.
Her lawyers, Mark Cohen and Jeffrey Pagliuca, wrote in a court filing last week obtained by CNBC that she “vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”
Federal prosecutors said in a Monday court filing that Maxwell employed former British military personnel as security at the estate she was found at and wrapped her cellphone in aluminum foil to prevent it from being tracked. Prosecutors, when arguing against her bail, cited her citizenship in three countries, including France, which does not extradite citizens.
Epstein was arrested in July 2019 for child sex trafficking between 2002 and 2005. He was held at federal jail in Manhattan before he was found dead in his cell in August. The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
The disgraced financier had several political and social connections to high-profile individuals before his sex trafficking ring was unveiled, including President Trump, former President Clinton and Prince Andrew.