July 13, 2020
Alleged victims of the longtime associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein are expected to testify at the defendant’s arraignment and bail hearing, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe.
Maxwell was charged on July 2 in connection with her alleged role in enticing, grooming, and sexually exploiting girls as young as 14. She has denied the charges and plans to defend herself in court.
Two of the alleged victims had not spoken to law enforcement until 2019. Their stories, according to the prosecutors, share remarkably similar details about Maxwell.
“The powerful testimony of these victims, who had strikingly similar experiences with Maxwell, together with documentary evidence and witness testimony, will conclusively establish that the defendant groomed the victims for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein,” the prosecutors’ memo states.
A coroner ruled that Epstein committed suicide in 2019 while in federal custody awaiting trial for sexually trafficking minor girls.
Maxwell’s attorneys had previously argued that their client’s wealth and citizenship in multiple countries are insufficient rationale for denying their client bail. The defense also rejected a claim by the prosecutors that Maxwell has been effectively hiding out at a New Hampshire estate.
The prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York doubled down on the allegation that Maxwell was hiding out. A guard who had been hired to protect Maxwell told the FBI that she had never left the property during his time on the job. Instead of venturing out, Maxwell provided her security guard with a credit card under the name of the same limited liability company used to purchase the estate and sent him to make purchases for the property, according to the prosecutors.
In arguing that Maxwell should not be granted bail, the prosecutors noted that during the FBI’s raid of the New Hampshire property, Maxwell could be seen through a window retreating further inside the house. After she was captured in one of the interior rooms, agents sweeping the house found a cellphone wrapped in aluminum foil, an apparent attempt to avoid detection by authorities, according to the court papers.
Maxwell, a former girlfriend of Epstein, came under the spotlight on the heels of Epstein’s reported suicide. She claims to not have been in contact with him in more than a decade.
Maxwell is charged with enticing and conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transporting minors with the same purpose, and perjury. Given her age, she faces the prospect of spending most of the rest of her life in prison.
Maxwell’s attorneys had argued that she’s not a flight risk because she has significant emotional ties to the children of her siblings who reside in the United States. The prosecution countered in the July 13 memo that her extended stay at the New Hampshire property means she was capable of maintaining the relationships remotely.
Another factor adding to Maxwell’s flight risk, the government noted, is that France, one of the countries where Maxwell has citizenship, doesn’t extradite its citizens. Maxwell’s attorney had also listed a property outside the United States as a guarantee of her bail, which prosecutors say would be difficult to recover and sell if the defendant flees. The prosecutors also say Maxwell’s list of six unnamed guarantors with unknown financial means is insufficient.
“Instead of attempting to address the risks of releasing a defendant with apparent access to extraordinary financial resources, who has the ability to live beyond the reach of extradition in France, and who has already demonstrated a willingness and ability to live in hiding, the defendant instead proposes a bail package that amounts to little more than an unsecured bond,” the government memo states.Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov