U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan denied bail Tuesday for Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime confidant of convicted sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein, stating she posed a "substantial" risk of flight before her trial on sexual exploitation charges.
The judge said during the hearing, "The combination of the seriousness of the crimes, the potential length of the sentence, the strength of the government's case at this stage, the defendant's foreign connections and the defendant's substantial financial resources all create both the motive and the opportunity to flee".
On July 2nd Maxwell was arrested at a 156-acre estate in Bradford, New Hampshire after being charged in New York with one count of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, one count of conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, one count of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, one count of conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and two counts of perjury, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to the New York Post, "The real estate agent told the FBI agent the buyers for the house introduced themselves as Scott and Jen Marshall. Both had British accents,” said Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe about the December transaction. “Scott Marshall told her he was retired from the British military and was currently working on a book. Jen Marshall described herself as a journalist. They told the agent they wanted to purchase the property quickly through a wire and they were setting up an LLC”.
Prosecutors said that Maxwell, 58, bought the home at 338 East Washington Road for $1.07 million through a carefully anonymized LLC. After seeing a picture of Maxwell, the Real Estate agent knew that Jen Marshall's true identity was indeed Ghislaine Maxwell.
Audrey Strauss, Acting U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York filed a memo to the court regarding Maxwell's detainment, outlining the suspect's "extreme risk of flight." The memo read in part, "For the reasons set forth herein, the Government respectfully submits that Ghislaine Maxwell, the defendant, poses an extreme risk of flight; that she will not be able to rebut the statutory presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required … and that the Court should, therefore, order her detained".
The memo went on to say, "The charges, in this case, are unquestionably serious: the Indictment alleges that Ghislaine Maxwell, in partnership with Jeffrey Epstein, a serial sexual predator, exploited and abused young girls for years. As a result of her disturbing and callous conduct, Maxwell now faces the very real prospect of serving many years in prison. The strength of the Government’s evidence and the substantial prison term the defendant would face upon conviction all create a strong incentive for the defendant to flee. That risk is only amplified by the defendant’s extensive international ties, her citizenship in two foreign countries, her wealth, and her lack of meaningful ties to the United States. In short, Maxwell has three passports, large sums of money, extensive international connections, and absolutely no reason to stay in the United States and face the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence".
At the hearing, two of Epstein's alleged victims spoke and asked the court to deny bail. One of the victims, Annie Farmer, said she was 16 years old when she met Maxwell. "She's a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other children and young women," she added. "She has never shown any remorse for her heinous crimes or the devastating, lasting effects her actions caused".
In a statement read to the judge by Prosecutor Allison Moe, the accuser, identified as Jane Doe, said that “Without Ghislaine, Jeffrey could not have done what he did.”
The trial was tentatively scheduled by the judge for July 12, 2021, and in statement to CNBC, Allison Moe said she expected the trial would take three weeks. Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.