LONDON: Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend, pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and abuse charges.
According to media reports, the British socialite denied helping young women get trafficked for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse – as her trial date was set for next year.
Maxwell appeared in a video message for her arraignment on a six-count indictment charging her with procuring and grooming young women to be molested by Epstein. Prosecutors said she was involved in some of the abuse herself.
“How do you wish to plead to the charges?” Manhattan federal Judge Alison Nathan asked.
“Not guilty, your honour,” Maxwell replied.
Maxwell was arrested on July 2 where she had been hiding ever since. Meanwhile, her trial date was set for July 12, 2021 and it is expected to last three weeks, including jury selection.
Prosecutors said Tuesday the “investigation remains ongoing but at this point, we do not currently anticipate seeking a superseding indictment” with additional charges or naming more defendants.
On the other hand, defence lawyers have filed for Maxwell’s bail, claiming that she wants to escape from the ‘intrusive media’ and not the authorities which is why she went into hiding.
Nathan will make a ruling on Maxwell’s bail later in the proceeding.