Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and so called “madame” of financier Jeffrey Epstein, has a new date set for her first trial on sex trafficking charges.
Epstein, who made international news as an incarcerated registered sex offender, was found dead in a high security cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019.
Names of the prominent elite in his social circle included former President Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, Prince Andrew, Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, Alec Baldwin and more.
Epstein installed concealed cameras at strategic locations on his properties to allegedly record sexual activity with underage girls by prominent politicans, entertainers, business people, and others for blackmail and persuasion purposes.
Maxwell told friends that Epstein’s private island in the Virgin Islands was completely wired for video. One friend believed that Maxwell and Epstein were videotaping everyone on the island as an insurance policy.
When police raided his Palm Beach residence in 2006, two hidden pinhole cameras were discovered in his home.
On March 29, prosecutors unsealed a new indictment against the former British socialite charging her with two more counts of sex trafficking related to a new accuser.
The new charges claim Maxwell groomed and sex-trafficked a 14-year-old girl for Epstein to abuse between 2001 and 2004 at his Palm Beach estate in Florida.
The original trial was to begin on July 12, but has now been moved to the fall as set by federal U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. The Manhattan judge deemed it a “short” postponement and appropriate because federal prosecutors added new charges to the case, and COVID-19 protocols made trial preparation harder.
Last month, one of Maxwell’s attorneys, Bobbi Sternheim, wrote to Judge Nathan about his client’s sleep deprivation. She also included a photo of Maxwell with a bruise under her left eye as an exhibit.
“While Ms. Maxwell is unaware of the cause of the bruise, as reported to medical and psych staff, she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores,” Sternheim wrote. “However, there is concern that the bruise may be related to the need for Ms. Maxwell to shield her eyes from the lights projected into her cell throughout the night.”
According to Sternheim, Maxwell “resorts to using a sock or towel to cover her eyes in an awkward attempt to shield them from disrupting illumination every 15 minutes.”
“Ms. Maxwell continues to be disrupted throughout the night by guards shining a flash/strobe light into her cell, claiming that her breathing must be checked,” Sternheim continued. “The myth that Ms. Maxwell’s conditions of confinement are related to her being a suicide risk was laid to rest during the oral argument: There is nothing to support that contrived claim.”
Maxwell’s lawyers called the government’s timing of the trial “obvious tactical gamesmanship” and indicated more preparation was necessary for her defense.
“The Court concludes that the interests of justice justify granting a short continuance,” the judge wrote in her ruling, “Such an adjournment would plainly give the defense team sufficient time to prepare for trial in light of the additional charges contained in the S2 indictment while also ensuring that the trial proceeds without undue delay.”
According to the government, the trial is estimated to last about four weeks. Maxwell will have to later face a second criminal trial in Manhattan Federal Court after Judge Nathan previously ruled to separate some perjury charges against her from the sexual misconduct case.