Looks like Ghislaine Maxwell can breathe a sigh of relief. The alleged madam—who's accused of procuring girls for Jeffrey Epstein's underage sex ring—was granted a stay in questioning Friday for a civil suit filed by a female accuser, Fox News reports. A federal magistrate judge, Debra Freeman, said it's worth waiting until a criminal case against Maxwell gets sorted out: "Not forever, but at least long enough to let us know whether the claims process is likely to go forward," she said. Maxwell's attorney had requested a delay in answering questions by the accuser, Annie Farmer, who claims she was recruited into the sex ring in 1996 and sexually assaulted by Epstein and Maxwell at age 16.
"The US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York has publicly and repeatedly announced its 'ongoing' criminal investigation," wrote Maxwell's attorney, who argued that a denial of the stay "could impair her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, extend criminal discovery ... [and] expose the defense's theory to the prosecution in advance of trial, or otherwise prejudice the criminal case." But ABC News
reports that Farmer's attorney argued against the stay: "We have no indication of any time frame" for the criminal investigation, the attorney said, adding that it "puts us in handcuffs with respect to being able to establish our claims." Maxwell is still out of the public eye at an unknown location.
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