Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged former madam of the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, just got some crushing news from a federal judge when she was denied bail as she appeared in court to plead not guilty to sex crime charges.
CNBC reported that Maxwell’s lawyer had tried to get her released on a $5 million release bond, but Judge Alison Nathan agreed with prosecutors that there was too high of a risk that she’d flee the country.
“Ms. Maxwell poses a risk of flight,” the judge said, citing her vast wealth as well as her citizenship in both the United Kingdom and France.
Nathan also pointed out the “seriousness” of the charges that the 58 year-old British socialite is facing, saying that her situation would give Maxwell all the more reason to flee if she were set free on bail. Maxwell is facing 35 years in prison if convicted on charges related to her allegedly enticing minors into traveling to have sex with Epstein, and perjury.
Maxwell appeared in court remotely via video teleconference from the prison in which she is incarcerated in Brooklyn, New York. During the proceedings, she spoke in a firm and clear voice as she said she was pleading “Not guilty” to each of the charges against her.
Nathan set Maxwell’s trial date for July 12, 2021, adding that she expects it to take three weeks.
Annie Farmer, one of three women whose claims resulted in Maxwell being charged, told the judge that bail should be denied because “the danger Maxwell posed must be taken seriously.”
“She was a serial predator when she met and groomed me and countless other women,” added Farmer, who alleged that she met Maxwell when she was only 16. “Those that survived implore this court that she be detained pending trial.”
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Another victim who was only identified as Jane Doe had a statement read in court in which she said, “Without Ghislaine, Jeffrey could not have done what he did.”
Prosecutors described Maxwell as an “extreme” flight risk, pointing out that she is worth millions and has a talent for “hiding.” They also explained the danger of her having citizenship in France, which does not extradite its own citizens on criminal charges.
“There is an incredibly strong incentive for the defendant to flee,” prosecutor Alison Moe said, adding that “there’s a real concern here that the defendant could live beyond the reach for extradition for years.”
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