Ghislaine Maxwell Enters Plea on 2 New Charges

'She's looking forward to fighting and she will fight,' rep says after Maxwell pleads not guilty
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2021 6:00 AM CDT
Ghislaine Maxwell Enters Plea on 2 New Charges
In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, far right, appears in Manhattan federal court during her arraignment on Friday in New York.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

Ghislaine Maxwell hasn't appeared before a judge in person since last July, when she was arrested. That changed when the British socialite and former girlfriend of the late Jeffrey Epstein showed up Friday in federal court, where she pleaded not guilty via an attorney to two new sex-trafficking charges filed last month, reports Reuters. With the additional charges, which include sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor (said to involve a 14-year-old girl), the 59-year-old now faces eight charges in total. In the March 29 indictment, not only was the timeline when Maxwell allegedly took part in Epstein's abuse of minor girls expanded—originally it was 1994 to 1997; now it's 1994 to 2004—but the new accuser was added, bringing the number of "minor victims" to four, per the Guardian.

Maxwell, who's been denied bail three times and complained about her conditions in the Brooklyn prison where she's housed, "shuffled into court" looking "frailer" than she usually does, with her short black hair now gray and falling past her shoulders, reports the Guardian. The Washington Post notes that Maxwell also "appears to have lost a significant amount of weight." The only words she spoke during the proceedings were "Yes, your honor" when asked by US District Judge Alison Nathan if she was aware of the latest charges against her. Maxwell had previously pleaded not guilty to the initial charges against her. Maxwell's trial on most of them is so far set for July 12, though COVID restrictions may delay that; her lawyers are also seeking up to a six-month delay. A second trial will deal with two counts of perjury against her. "She's looking forward to fighting and she will fight," one of her representatives said after Friday's arraignment, per Reuters. (Read more Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)

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