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Prosecutors Add Sex Trafficking Charges Against Ghislaine Maxwell

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, submitted new charges against Ghislaine Maxwell Monday. Maxwell, the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was first arrested in the United States on July 2, 2020.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, submitted new charges against Ghislaine Maxwell Monday. Maxwell, the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was first arrested in the United States on July 2, 2020.

Federal prosecutors in New York on Monday filed new charges of sex trafficking a minor and sex trafficking conspiracy against Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell is accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual acts with Epstein from 2001 to 2004. The abuse allegedly took place at Epstein's Palm Beach estate in Florida.

The new indictment alleges that Epstein and, at times, Maxwell paid a 14-year-old girl — referred to as "Minor Victim-4" in court documents — to give the billionaire "sexual massages." The teen or Epstein were often partially or fully nude during these massages, prosecutors said. Epstein would also engage in various sexual acts with the girl at that time, they said.

The two new counts broaden the time period of the sexual abuse allegations that prosecutors say Maxwell and Epstein committed.

The original indictment against Maxwell was filed for alleged crimes committed during the 1990s; the new indictment indicates abuse and the sex trafficking of
"Minor Victim-4" continued from 2001 until as recently as 2004.

Maxwell still faces other charges that include transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity and conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Maxwell was arrested last July in New Hampshire — nearly a year after Epstein was charged and detained.

About a month after his arrest, Epstein died after being found unresponsive in his jail cell in Manhattan. His death was ruled a suicide.

Gaining trust

Prosecutors said Maxwell would gain this victim's trust by asking her about family and other aspects of her life and that Maxwell used a similar method on several other victims of Epstein, according to court documents.

Maxwell would normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by talking about sexual topics in front of the teen girl or by being present in the massage room when the girl was naked. Epstein's employees, including Maxwell at times, would call the victim from various locations at her home in Florida to set up an appointment to massage Epstein.

Afterward, Epstein, his employees, or Maxwell would pay the girl hundreds of dollars. From New York, Epstein's inner circle would send the girl gifts, including lingerie.

Maxwell and Epstein reportedly encouraged the girl to bring her friends or to recruit other young women to massage the much-older financier. "Minor Victim-4" allegedly brought multiple girls, including those under 18, to provide such massages for Epstein at his Palm Beach home. Epstein or Maxwell would then pay the teen and the person she brought hundreds of dollars in cash.

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