FBI Arrests Ghislaine Maxwell, Former Associate of Jeffrey Epstein
On Thursday morning, the FBI arrested Ghislaine Maxwell, a former associate of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, in Bedford, New Hampshire. In a federal indictment, Maxwell has been charged on six counts, including perjury, transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity, and enticing minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
"Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein's abuse of minor girls by among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18," the indictment reads. "The victims were as young as 14 years old [when] they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein."
Last year, Epstein was arrested and charged with sexually abusing dozens of underage girls at his homes in New York City, Florida, and elsewhere. In August, he hanged himself while awaiting trial in custody in Manhattan. Since Epstein's arrest, Maxwell essentially disappeared from her usual social circles; she has also long denied any wrongdoing in her association with Epstein.
At a press conference on Thursday, the FBI said that they "had been discreetly keeping tabs on Maxwell's whereabouts, and recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago." Maxwell's lawyer, Jeffrey Pagliuca, has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The indictment goes on to accuse Maxwell of being an integral part of Epstein's sex-trafficking operations. "Maxwell first attempted to befriend some of Epstein's minor victims prior to their abuse, including by asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families," it reads. "Maxwell and Epstein would spend time building friendships with minor victims by for example, taking minor victims to the movies or shopping."
According to NPR, the U.S. Attorney's Office has requested that Maxwell be held without bail, as she is an "extreme" flight risk. "In short, Maxwell has three passports, large sums of money, extensive international connections," the office's request reads, "and absolutely no reason to stay in the United States and face the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence."