Ghislaine Maxwell is denied bail weeks before her trial with judge citing ‘significant risk of flight’

Court case against British socialite set to start 29 November

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 09 November 2021 18:01

Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not guilty to sex trafficking charges

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Ghislaine Maxwell has been denied bail just weeks before her trial with a judge citing her “significant risk of flight” asa major factor.

Ms Maxwell’s criminal trial on charges she helped Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls is set to go ahead in New York on 29 November.

It is the fourth time that Manhattan Judge Alison Nathan has denied a bail request by Ms Maxwell since her arrest in July 2020.

The judge ruled that even the $28.5m bail package did not convince her that Ms Maxwell would show up for trial.

A federal appeals court has also twice rejected bail requests for the British socialite, who has vociferously complained about prison conditions in New York.

Her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim has compared conditions in the Brooklyn jail to those of Hannibal Lecter, the movie serial killer character played by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs.

The 59-year-old has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other charges related to Epstein’s alleged abuse of four girls undertake age of 18 between 1994 and 2004.

If convicted Ms Maxwell, who is the daughter of Ms Maxwell, the daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell, faces a prison sentence of up to 80 years.

Epstein killed himself at the age of 66 in August 2019 while waiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Lawyers for Ms Maxwell say they will challenge the claims she groomed underage girls for Epstein, and will say her accusers may have faulty memories.

Her defence team plan on calling experts in psychiatry and false memory, according to court papers filed in the case.

Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist specialising in false memory, is one of the experts they are hoping to call.

Ms Loftus has testified in hundreds of trials, including those for high-profile defendants such as Harvey Weinstein and OJ Simpson.

Reuters contributed to this report

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