On July 2, the alleged confidante of late billionaire and accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested. Despite denying any wrongdoing, or denying having any involvement in the sexual abuse investigation against Epstein, Maxwell was taken out of her New Hampshire home in handcuffs Thursday morning.
Her arrest comes roughly 11 months after Epstein’s suicide on August 10, 2019. According to NBC News, within hours of her arrest, Maxwell was seen standing in front of Magistrate Judge Andrea Johnstone.
Maxwell did not enter a plea, however, Johnstone did order her to be sent to New York City where she will be kept in federal prison. As NBC News reports, the charges against her are for her actions from 1994 and 1997 and 2016, when she allegedly lied to investigators in 2016. “Four counts are related to allegedly helping transport minors for sexual activity and two for perjury, according to the criminal complaint.”
Following her arrest, acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss told reporters that “Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse. In some cases, Maxwell participated in the abuse herself.” Epstein’s longtime companion was still living a privileged lifestyle in a million-dollar 4,300-square foot timber frame house when she was taken into custody. The FBI in multiple states has been keeping tabs on her since Epstein’s arrest.
It was believed that she was an extreme flight risk as she had the funds to travel anywhere and multiple passports. That plus the mounting evidence against her and “the seriousness of the allegations…creates an extraordinary incentive to flee.”
Assistant director in charge of the FBI in New York City, William Sweeney, said it was just recently that the learned Maxwell “had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims lived with the trauma inflicted on them years ago. We moved when we were ready and Ms. Maxwell was arrested without incident,” he told reporters.
Maxwell reportedly helped Epstein gain then-teenagers’ trust.
The many women who have accused Epstein of sexual abuse, have also reported coming into contact with Maxwell during that time. As NBC News reports, “she either recruited them directly or provided logistical support, like scheduling visits to Epstein’s home.”
Jennifer Araoz, one of Epstein’s victims, said in a statement when filing a lawsuit against Maxwell that she “was the center of that sex trafficking ring. Now that the ring has been taken down, I know that I can’t be hurt anymore. Day after day, I have waited for the news that Maxwell would be arrested and held accountable for her actions,” Araoz said. “Her arrest is a step in that direction, and it truly means that the justice system didn’t forget about us.”
It’s unclear when Epstein’s alleged accomplise will be back in court.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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