Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with sex crimes in connection to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, will likely face arraignment this week in New York, records show.
In a letter filed Sunday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, federal prosecutors asked Judge Alison J. Nathan to schedule Maxwell’s arraignment and bail hearing for Friday. She’s being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
The FBI and New York police detectives arrested Maxwell, 58, at a stately home Thursday in Bradford, N.H., on charges that she helped Epstein sexually abuse and exploit minors and lied about it under oath.
Maxwell made an initial appearance last week in federal court in New Hampshire. She did not enter a plea and agreed to be brought to New York to face six felony counts, including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and perjury, according to legal filings. If convicted, Maxwell could be sentenced to 35 years in prison.
She also agreed to voluntary detention until her bail hearing. A lawyer for Maxwell hung up on a Globe reporter Monday and didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment.
In a 10-page memo that prosecutors filed to support their request that Maxwell remain behind bars until trial, authorities said she “poses an extreme risk of flight” and has extensive international ties and vast wealth.
Authorities have identified more than 15 bank accounts held by or associated with Maxwell since 2016, with balances that ranged from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $20 million, prosecutors said. She also appears to have generated “substantial income” from the 2016 sale of a New York home for $15 million through a limited liability company, prosecutors said.
The $1 million home in Bradford was acquired in a cash purchase in December 2019 through a “carefully anonymized LLC.” Town assessing records identify the LLC as Granite Realty located at 155 Seaport Blvd. in Boston. That address houses multiple law firms.
Staige Davis, chief executive of the Vermont-based office of Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, which handled the sale of the East Washington Road property, said his staff didn’t deal with Maxwell directly.
“The truth is, none of us heard from her until we started getting press calls,” Davis said. “They didn’t use their real names when they looked at the property.”
According to prosecutors, Maxwell and Epstein groomed girls for participation in sexually abusive behavior by building a rapport with them through shopping trips, taking them to the movies, and spending time with them. As the ties strengthened, Maxwell would introduce sexualized behavior, ultimately leading to Epstein abusing the girls, sometimes with Maxwell’s participation or presence, prosecutors allege.
Epstein, once a wealthy benefactor of both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, killed himself in a federal detention center in New York last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He had been convicted a decade before on sex charges in Florida, but his light punishment in that case — after allegations that he had molested dozens of girls — sparked intense criticism.
Prosecutors in the Maxwell case allege that girls were sexually assaulted in Epstein’s Manhattan residence, in his home in Palm Beach, Fla., and at a sprawling ranch in New Mexico. The indictment alleges that Maxwell played a role “in the sexual abuse and exploitation of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein,” specifically three girls who were allegedly abused in the 1990s.
Maxwell has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called some of the claims against her “absolute rubbish.”
Derege Demissie, a Cambridge defense lawyer who frequently represents clients in federal court, said Monday he doesn’t believe Maxwell is the government’s primary target. He believes prosecutors are pursuing cases against Epstein’s “powerful” friends who may have been involved in abusing young girls.
Epstein’s friends have included British royalty, US presidents, Hollywood celebrities, and stars of academia. If Maxwell has information about “specific incidents where people in high positions” were involved in the alleged sex ring, she could be “offered a very attractive deal” in exchange for her testimony, he said.
“That’s the kind of information federal prosecutors would be very interested in, and her chances of getting a deal would be extremely high,” he said.
Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Material from the Associated Press was also used.
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