Maxwell denied bail on charges of luring girls for Epstein; accusers denounce her

Maxwell denied bail on charges of luring girls for Epstein; accusers denounce her

A U.S. judge on Tuesday denied bail for Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime associate charged with luring young girls so the late financier could sexually abuse them, after she pleaded not guilty at a hearing in which two women decried her actions as heinous.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan rejected Maxwell’s bid for bail, agreeing with prosecutors that the wealthy socialite posed a flight risk. Maxwell, the judge said during a hearing lasting more than two hours, has “demonstrated sophistication in hiding her resources and herself.”

Prosecutors have accused Maxwell, 58, of helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse girls as young as 14 from 1994 to 1997 and lying about her role in depositions in 2016. Nathan set a trial date for July 12, 2021.

Maxwell appeared by video from the Brooklyn jail where she has been held since July 6. She appeared tired, with her hair pulled back, and was wearing a brown T-shirt and tortoiseshell glasses.

Arrested on July 2, Maxwell has been charged with six criminal counts, including four related to transporting minors for illegal sexual acts and two for perjury. Nathan said the evidence currently “appears strong” against Maxwell, who faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

Statements by two women who have accused Maxwell of enabling their abuse were presented at the hearing. One of the women, Annie Farmer, said Maxwell “has never shown any remorse for her heinous crimes” and that “the danger Maxwell poses must be taken seriously.”

“She is a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other children and young women,” Farmer said via an audio feed.

In a statement read to the court by federal prosecutor Alison Moe, an unidentified second woman said, “Without Ghislaine, Jeffrey could not have done what he did.” The woman said she knew Maxwell for more than 10 years and still felt threatened, adding, “If she is out, I need to be protected.”

Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of luring girls by asking them about their lives, schools and families and taking them shopping or to movies – “the prequel” to Epstein’s abuse.

Reuters