In July 2020, federal prosecutors hit Maxwell with six charges, mostly focused on allegations that she enticed girls between the ages of 14 and 17 to travel to meet Epstein for his sexual abuse. These allegations are generally known as violations of the Mann Act.
“The Mann Act is was originally used in order to prosecute any interstate transportation of women for illicit purposes, including prostitution,” Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor who spearheaded sex-trafficking cases in the District of New Jersey in 2003 and 2004, told Law&Crime in a phone interview.
“These days as a matter of discretion, the Mann Act is largely used only for trafficking offenses, meaning where people are being forced into prostitution against their will,” added Epner, who is now is now of counsel with Rottenberg Lipman Rich PC. “It can be underage women, but it can also be women of the age of consent, who are in some way being held in a form of sexual slavery where they don’t have a choice as to whether or not to engage in prostitution.”
This past March, the government leveled two more charges: sex trafficking and conspiring to commit sex trafficking.
If convicted on the six charges at issue in her trial, the 59-year-old Ghislaine Noelle Marion Maxwell faces the possibility of 70 years imprisonment.
Maxwell will be tried separately on two additional charges of perjury, alleging that she lied during sworn depositions in litigation with one of her most prominent accusers: Virginia Giuffre, who sued Maxwell a little more half a decade ago in a lawsuit accusing her of turning her into Epstein’s “sex slave.” Maxwell pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
When asked by Judge Nathan whether she sought or received a plea offer, Maxwell confirmed that she had not before replying: “I have not committed any crime.”
Maxwell’s superseding indictment charges her with crimes dating between 1995 and 2004, well before Epstein struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors in Florida. It’s also well before the watershed Miami Herald investigation “Perversion of Justice” that brought Epstein and Maxwell back into the public eye.
Via: Law and Crime