Prosecutors: Epstein victim to speak at associate’s hearing
NEW YORK (AP) — One or more victims of Jeffrey Epstein will tell a judge Tuesday that his ex-girlfriend should be denied bail on charges that she recruited teenage girls for him to sexually abuse in the 1990s, prosecutors said Monday.
Prosecutors made the revelation in court papers as they argued there is no reason to free British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell on bail.
They also revealed new details about Maxwell’s July 2 arrest at a $1 million New Hampshire estate she purchased in December, saying FBI agents had to bust into her residence after she failed to cooperate.
“As the agents approached the front door to the main house, they announced themselves as FBI agents and directed the defendant to open the door,” prosecutors wrote. “Through a window, the agents saw the defendant ignore the direction to open the door and, instead, try to flee to another room in the house, quickly shutting a door behind her.”
The government said agents were forced to break through the door to arrest Maxwell, who was in an interior room in the home. Prosecutors also revealed that Maxwell had been guarded at the home by a security company staffed with former members of the British military.
The descriptions were made as prosecutors sought to boost arguments that the 58-year-old citizen of the U.S., the United Kingdom and France should remain behind bars until trial. They said she had the money, the means and the incentive to flee since she could face many years in prison, if convicted.
Prosecutors told a Manhattan federal judge in court papers that at least one woman and possibly more were expected to exercise their right to appear at Tuesday’s hearing and ask that Maxwell be detained until trial. And they also revealed that additional individuals have offered the government evidence to support its case since Maxwell’s arrest.
“The Government is deeply concerned that if the defendant is bailed, the victims will be denied justice in this case,” prosecutors wrote.
They also revealed that two of three women who alleged they were recruited by Maxwell to be sexually abused by Epstein had never spoken to law enforcement authorities until last year.
The filing came a day before an arraignment and bail hearing for Maxwell, who has been held for the last week at a federal jail in Brooklyn.
On Friday, her lawyers filed arguments that said she’s being made a scapegoat after Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan lockup last August. They said she should be freed on $5 million bail with electronic monitoring.
“Ghislaine Maxwell,” they wrote, “is not Jeffrey Epstein.”
They said their client denies any allegations of misconduct, has had no contact with Epstein for more than a decade and has never been charged with a crime or found liable in civil litigation stemming from the allegations against Epstein.
Prosecutors noted that Maxwell’s defense lawyers proposed offering as collateral property their client owns in the United Kingdom, but they said that was beyond the reach of U.S. authorities.
A defense lawyer did not return a message seeking comment Monday.
Epstein was arrested in July 2019 and was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges of women and girls in Florida and New York in the early 2000s when he died by suicide in custody.