Ghislaine Maxwell has fired back over her updated indictment, calling it a “ shocking, unfair abuse of power ” for getting so close to her trial.
The British socialite accused prosecutors of ‘blatantly tactical playfulness’ by giving her two new charges with four months to go until the trial was due to begin.
Maxwell said she might be able to request an extension of her trial, which will begin on July 12, as she needs extra time to prepare.
But her lawyers did not want to force Maxwell to spend any more time in prison, because the conditions were so harsh that she may not be “ strong enough to withstand the stress of the trial, ” they wrote.
Ghislaine Maxwell has fired back over her updated indictment, calling it a “ shocking, unfair abuse of power ” for getting so close to her trial. Epstein and Maxwell, his right-hand man, are seen together in New York City in June 1995
Ghislaine Maxwell was charged with two new counts of conspiracy over sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor
The charges are Maxwell’s first remark since federal prosecutors added a conspiracy over sex trafficking and sex trafficking of a minor to her charges earlier this week.
The 59-year-old is now facing eight counts and pleaded not guilty to the previous six, including seducing underage children into assault and perjury.
Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim said the filing of a replacement charge by New York prosecutors posed “new and complicated problems.”
The new indictment extends the time frame of allegations from three years to 10 years and now spans 1994 to 2004 and includes two serious charges that “dramatically change the focus of the case.”
Sternheim wrote, “That the government took this step late in the game – with a trial period for July 12 – is clearly tactical playability.
“Adding charges never brought against Jeffrey Epstein based on evidence held by the government for years is shocking, unfair, and abuse of power.”
Maxwell, pictured in 2009, was arrested in July and is currently awaiting trial in a Brooklyn prison
Sternheim said the new charges would require “additional investigation” and new motions.
But Sternheim said she did not want Maxwell to stay in prison longer than necessary due to the harsh conditions in the federal prison in Brooklyn where she is being held.
She wrote: ‘Her liberty interests now conflict with her right to effective counsel.
“The court is aware of the extraordinary circumstances of Ms. Maxwell’s detention, the detrimental effects on her health and well-being, and the realistic concern of whether she will be strong enough to withstand the stress of the trial.”
Sternheim complained that prosecutors said at Maxwell’s bail hearing last July that they had no plans to file a replacement charge, and on that basis they agreed to a trial date in July 2021.
She claimed there was “no justifiable reason” for filing an updated charge now, and this was done out of concern at the “now apparent weakness of her case.”
The updated indictment includes two new allegations related to a woman claiming that Maxwell recruited her when she was 14.
The document alleged that Maxwell “ groomed ” the girl, identified only as Minor Victim-4, to perform sexual acts with Epstein by talking to her about her family life.
Maxwell discussed sexual topics with the victim and was present in the massage room with the girl at Epstein’s Palm Beach home, it is said.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, seen in 2005, are accused of raping a woman in 2008
Epstein was arrested in July 2019, aged 66, and committed suicide a month later, while awaiting trial
The new prosecutor, referred to a child victim-4, reportedly met Maxwell at Epstein’s Palm Beach home when she was about 14
Underage Victim-4 brought “several women, including girls under 18” to Epstein and received “hundreds of dollars in cash,” it is said.
In the filing, Sternheim said the additional prosecutor meant that the trial was unlikely to last just two weeks, as prosecutors previously claimed.
Maxwell’s attorneys also said she is demanding to be charged in person over the new charges after the dial-up phone line was hijacked by QAnon conspiracy theorists at a previous hearing.
All 500 spots on the public phone line in the separate civil case were occupied, and one person was streaming the hearing live on YouTube until the judge said they had to stop.
Sternheim called that hearing a “ debacle ” and said Maxwell is demanding a bail hearing in which witnesses can testify about the “ alleged strength of the government’s case. ”
The updated indictment also shines a spotlight on Epstein’s powerful friends like Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton, as both of them knew Epstein in the early 2000s.
Neither man is named in the court documents, but it significantly raises the prospect that they will both be discussed at Maxwell’s trial.