Maxwell pleads ‘not guilty’ as New York judge denies bail


The British socialite accused of conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to abuse under-age girls had her request for bail denied by a New York judge, who cited the defendant’s vast financial resources and her “extraordinary capacity to evade detection”.

Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty during an arraignment on Tuesday that was conducted via video link because of coronavirus restrictions. It was her first court proceeding since her arrest on July 2 at a secluded New Hampshire estate.

During the hearing, federal prosecutors accused Ms Maxwell of being “less than candid” about her financial resources, and noted her citizenship in France, a country that would be unlikely to extradite her to the US if she were to flee.

The US government also offered fresh details about her hide-out in New Hampshire. Ms Maxwell apparently posed as “Janet Marshall”, a British journalist seeking privacy, when she met with the estate agent.

Her attorney, Mark Cohen, countered that the front door of the property was unlocked when agents stormed the house, and that Ms Maxwell would have willingly turned herself in if they had contacted her lawyers.

“She has been the target of endless media spin,” Mr Cohen complained, adding: “Our client is not Epstein.”

The hearing featured an appearance by one Epstein accuser, Annie Farmer. She read a statement claiming that she met Ms Maxwell when she was 16, and that Ms Maxwell had helped to groom her and others for Epstein’s abuse.

Prosecutors also read a statement submitted by another Epstein accuser, identified only as Jane Doe, who claimed to have known Ms Maxwell for 10 years. In it, she called the defendant “a predator and a monster” and said Ms Maxwell “thought it was funny” when recounting how she had recruited girls for Epstein.

A trial has been scheduled for July 12, 2021.

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