Ghislaine Maxwell fourth alleged victim added to charges

Ghislaine Maxwell in July 2020, courtroom sketch
Ghislaine Maxwell was arraigned in July 2020 (courtroom sketch)

Two new US federal charges of sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor have been filed against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

The new charges introduce a fourth alleged victim to the case against the ex-girlfriend of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Ms Maxwell is accused of recruiting an underage girl for sex with Epstein at his home in Palm Beach, Florida. There was no immediate comment on the new accusations from her lawyers, Ms Maxwell is currently in jail in New York awaiting trial.

The two new charges in the amended indictment relate to the period 2001 and 2004, before Monday Ms Maxwell had faced six charges: four relate to the years between 1994 and 1997, when prosecutors say she helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14. The other two are allegations of perjury in 2016. If convicted on the first six charges, which she denies, she would face up to 35 years in prison.

Ms Maxwell, the daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell, was in a relationship with financier Epstein in the 1990s. She allegedly introduced Epstein to wealthy and powerful figures including Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew of the British Royal Family.

Epstein killed himself in 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges, more than a decade after he was convicted for soliciting prostitution from a minor. Earlier this month, Ms Maxwell’s brother Ian Maxwell said his sister, who was arrested last year, was being held in “degrading” conditions in jail in Brooklyn.

Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing alleged victims, said that bail should be “out of the question” as it “would be very upsetting to the victims”.

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