Ghislaine Maxwell loses key rulings ahead of trial for Jeffrey Epstein sex crime case

  • A judge ruled that prosecutors can refer to accusers of Ghislaine Maxwell as "victims" at the British socialite's trial on charges of procuring underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
  • Federal Judge Alison Nathan also ruled that Maxwell's accusers can have their identities kept anonymous during the trial.
  • Epstein, a former friend of ex-Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, at one time dated Maxwell, who also acted as his property manager.

A judge Monday ruled that prosecutors can refer to accusers of Ghislaine Maxwell as "victims" at the British socialite's upcoming trial in New York on charges of procuring underage girls to be sexually abused by mysterious money man Jeffrey Epstein.

Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan, citing the need to protect Maxwell's accusers from embarrassment, also ruled during a hearing that those women can have their identities kept anonymous during the trial.

Maxwell's lawyers had wanted prosecutors barred from using the word "victim" and "minor" to describe the accusers, and also had wanted them identified during the trial with their real names.

Defense lawyers also lost their bid to be allowed to suggest at trial that prosecutors only filed charges against Maxwell because of press coverage about Epstein and his alleged misdeeds with her.

Also Monday, prosecutors said they had not made any plea offer to Maxwell, such as one in which she would admit guilt to some criminal conduct in exchange for an agreement that prosecutors would seek a less severe punishment than she might get if she were to be convicted at trial.

Prosecutors also said Maxwell likewise had not asked for a plea deal.

"I have not committed any crime," Maxwell, 59, said to Nathan as she confirmed that revelation at the hearing, which dealt with a raft of issues in advance of her trial, due to begin with opening arguments on Nov. 29.

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The hearing came on the same day that Barclays announced its CEO Jes Staley was immediately stepping down after the company became aware of preliminary conclusions by British banking regulators. The officials are investigating how Staley previously characterized his professional relationship with Epstein while serving as head of private banking at JPMorgan Chase.

Epstein, 66, died in August 2019 from what authorities have ruled a suicide by hanging at the Manhattan federal jail where he had been held since the prior month on child sex-trafficking charges.

Epstein, a former friend of ex-Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, previously had dated Maxwell, who also acted as his property manager.

Maxwell has been held without bond since her arrest in July 2020.

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