Ghislaine Maxwell Pleads Not Guilty and Is Denied Bail
Her trial is scheduled to begin in 2021.
During her first court appearance since her arrest earlier this month, Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges stemming from her connection to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide last year. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan also denied Maxwell's request for bail and ordered her jailed until her trial. According to CNBC, the judge deemed her "a substantial risk of flight" and said "the risk is simply too great" for Maxwell to be released.
Julie K. Brown, the investigative reporter whose work for the Miami Herald is largely credited with bringing the Epstein case back to national attention, tweeted that Maxwell asked to spend her pretrial detention at a "luxury Manhattan hotel." The judge denied this request.
The FBI arrested Maxwell on July 2 and charged her with 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. In court on Tuesday, her lawyers said she "vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence."
The indictment against Maxwell accuses her of being an integral part of Epstein's sex-trafficking operations. Epstein was awaiting trial for his own sex trafficking charges when he killed himself last year while in custody. Because of the connection to Epstein, authorities have taken extra security precautions for Maxwell, including making her wear paper clothes and moving her from cell to cell within the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Maxwell's trial is scheduled to begin July 12, 2021.