Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not guilty to new sex-trafficking raps
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Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty Friday to a fresh set of sex-trafficking charges — as the accused Jeffrey Epstein madam was hauled into court for her first in-person appearance since her arrest in July.
The fallen British heiress, 59, had been slapped with two more charges — sex trafficking of a minor and sex-trafficking conspiracy — last month after a new accuser came forward alleging she was just 14 years old when Maxwell recruited her for her pedophile pal Epstein.
The charges add to six other counts to which Maxwell has previously pleaded not guilty.
Maxwell has been held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since her arrest last year — and she and her lawyers have repeatedly complained about the “onerous” conditions of her incarceration.
They say the daughter of the late disgraced media titan Robert Maxwell is subjected to strip searches, woken every 15 minutes by flashlight and given nearly nothing to eat.
In December, Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s lawyer, wrote to Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan that the conditions have led to his client losing more than 15 pounds and shedding hair.
Jail officials have denied the claims, saying Maxwell has repeatedly left her cell a mess — including by not flushing her toilet.
Maxwell has since petitioned an appeals court in an effort to be sprung on $28.5 million bail — a request that’s already been denied by a district-court judge three times.
The ex-socialite is accused of recruiting and grooming at least four teenage girls from 1994 to 2004 to be sexually abused by Epstein, her onetime boyfriend.
The two new charges relate to a another victim who claims she was abused by the multimillionaire Epstein in the early 2000s, according to the indictment.
The unidentified victim was paid hundreds of dollars by the pair to engage in sex acts with Epstein at his sprawling Florida mansion, the indictment states.
As part of the recruitment, Maxwell allegedly sent gifts to the victim — including lingerie — from an address in New York.
The pair also allegedly encouraged the girl to recruit other underage victims for Epstein to abuse.
If convicted of the charges, Maxwell faces a maximum of 45 years in federal prison, said a rep for the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York said.
Her trial is set to begin July 12.
Epstein killed himself in 2019 while locked up in Manhattan on sex-trafficking charges.
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