Ghislaine Maxwell, the long-time associate of Jeffrey Epstein, was charged Monday for the first time with sex-trafficking of a minor, as federal prosecutors accused her of grooming a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual acts with Epstein and later paying her.
A new federal indictment filed in Manhattan charged that on multiple occasions between 2001 and 2004, the girl provided nude massages to Epstein at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate, during which he engaged in sex acts with her.
The new charges against Maxwell go further than those contained in an earlier indictment that accused her of helping Epstein recruit, groom and ultimately sexually abuse girls, but did not include sex-trafficking allegations.
A lawyer for Maxwell did not respond to a request for comment on the new charges.
The indictment comes almost nine months after Maxwell, 59, once a fixture on New York’s social scene, was arrested in New Hampshire on charges that she had lured underage girls – one as young as 14 – into Epstein’s orbit, and contributed to his abuse of them.
The indictment issued Monday cites an additional 14-year-old girl who is identified only as Minor Victim-4.
Maxwell has been jailed since her arrest last year and is awaiting a trial, scheduled for July, in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. She pleaded not guilty to the original charges.
Epstein, 66, hanged himself in his cell at a jail in Manhattan in August 2019, a month after his arrest on sex trafficking charges. An indictment said Epstein had recruited dozens of minor girls to engage in sex acts with him at his mansion in Manhattan and the Palm Beach estate, after which he paid them hundreds of dollars in cash.
Prosecutors, in expanding their case against Maxwell, not only added two new counts – sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking conspiracy – but they also broadened the time period of the allegations they have made.
The original indictment alleged crimes by Maxwell from 1994-97, leading her lawyers to argue, as they unsuccessfully sought her release on bail, that it was “inherently more difficult to prosecute cases relating to decades-old conduct.” They said that helped to “call into question the strength of the government’s case.”
The sex trafficking of Minor Victim-4 occurred between 2001 and 2004, the new indictment says.
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