Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, will remain behind bars until trial after she was denied bail Tuesday as a risk to flee rather than face charges she recruited girls for the financier to sexually abuse more than two decades ago.
Two Epstein accusers implored the judge to keep the British socialite detained after she pleaded not guilty to the charges during a video court hearing in Manhattan.
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan said even the most restrictive form of release would be insufficient to ensure Maxwell would not flee, particularly now that she knows a conviction could result in up to 35 years in prison.
As the judge explained her reasoning for denying bail, Maxwell dropped her head repeatedly, appearing dejected. At one point, she appeared to wipe a tear from underneath one eye as she sat alone in a room at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where she has been housed since last week.
Maxwell, 58, has been held without bail since her July 2 arrest at her million-dollar New Hampshire estate, where prosecutors say she refused to open the door for FBI agents, who busted through to find her in an interior room. Her lawyer, Mark S. Cohen, told the judge that Maxwell was in her pajamas and had followed security protocol calling for her to retreat to her room if any disturbance occurred outside.
The judge rejected Cohen’s claim that Maxwell was hiding from the public and the media after getting threats rather than investigators when she bought a $1 million mansion late last year.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said Maxwell posed as a journalist, “Jen Marshall,” when she purchased the New Hampshire estate.
“She has the ability to live off the grid indefinitely,” Moe said, citing Maxwell’s wealth and extensive international ties, along with citizenship in the U.S., the United Kingdom and France.
She said Maxwell was vague about her finances after her arrest because “she cannot remember off the top of her head how many millions of dollars she has.”
And she rejected Cohen’s contention that prosecutors were engaging in “spin” by twisting facts to portray his client in the worst light.
“It is not dirt. It is not spin,” Moe said. Prosecutors, she said, planned to hold Maxwell accountable for “chilling conduct” when Maxwell recruited at least three girls, one as young as 14, for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 1997.
As part of the government’s presentation, Moe read aloud a statement by one female accuser while another, Annie Farmer, by phone urged the court to detain Maxwell. Farmer said Maxwell was a “sexual predator who groomed and abused me.” She said Maxwell “lied under oath and tormented her survivors.”
An indictment alleged that Maxwell groomed the victims to endure sexual abuse and was sometimes there when Epstein abused them. It also alleged she lied during a 2016 deposition in a civil case.
You can read the rest of Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays’ article at ABCnews.com