Jeffrey Epstein’s associate and alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in court today via a video conference from her jail cell and pled not guilty to the numerous charges of child trafficking and endangerment that have been leveled against her.
US District Judge Alison Nathan set a trial date of July 12, 2021, which is just under a year away. It is still unclear whether or not Maxwell will be released on bail, or if she will be forced to remain in prison until the trial begins. Her attorneys have argued for a strict bail release, along with GPS tracking, citing concerns over the coronavirus. However, prosecutors have insisted that Maxwell is a flight risk and needs to remain behind bars, or at the very least home detention until her court date.
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“There will be no trial for the victims if the defendant is afforded the opportunity to flee the jurisdiction, and there is every reason to think that is exactly what she will do if she is released,” prosecutors told Judge Alison Nathan on Monday.
According to the Guardian, Maxwell’s lawyers have previously argued that she is not a flight risk because she was never actually on the run, but was only keeping a low profile due to the media circus surrounding the case. The attorneys claim that she was in contact with investigators the entire time and had constantly updated them about where she was staying.
However, prosecutors paint a different story, saying that she was not in contact with authorities and that she went to great lengths to avoid being detected, including wrapping her cell phone in tinfoil, purchasing a mansion through a shell corporation using untraceable cash and hiring former members of the British military as bodyguards.
There is also significant evidence of Maxwell being extensively involved in Epstein’s life. According to multiple witnesses, she was also heavily involved in his child trafficking network as well.
Her lawyers have indicated that she intends to fully cooperate with prosecutors, and it is rumored that she has video evidence implicating some of the most powerful people in the world, which she reportedly plans on using as a bargaining tool to get a reduced sentence.
Note: The featured image is for descriptive purposes only.
Image Credit: Ghislaine Maxwell