Judge Adjourns Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial Until the Fall Because of New Sex Trafficking Indictment
A federal judge has stalled Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial until the fall of the year, citing the prosecution’s determination to deliver a new indictment in late March including national sex trafficking charges.
“Having carefully considered the parties’ respective positions, the Court GRANTS Maxwell’s request for a brief continuance until the fall of 2021 to enable the defense to get ready for the extra charges caused the [second superseding] indictment,” U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan composed. “The Court rejects Maxwell’s alternative request to continue the trial date until January of 2022 along with the Government’s alternative proposition that the Court adjourn trial until March of 2022.”
Federal prosecutors than any delay as trying to the victims.
“The longer this case remains pending, the longer the victims endure the anxiety of expecting their trial testimony as well as the doubt of awaiting a resolution,” prosecutors wrote late last month. “As a consequence, multiple victims oppose any adjournment of the trial .”
A grand jury brought a new indictment against Maxwell after prosecutors supplemented their case with a person known only in court documents as”Minor Victim-4.” Other anonymous victims told prosecutors they wanted a speedy trial.
“Specifically, Minor Victim-3 expressed sense significant anxiety throughout the pendency of the case and a strong urge to have the case brought to a close during trial when possible,” prosecutors wrote in April. “Likewise, Minor Victim-2 also indicated that she has undergone an immense quantity of anxiety while this case has been pending, wishes to find the case brought to trial”
Nathan acknowledged:”The Court is extremely aware of the countervailing considerations that require any adjournment be no longer than necessary.”
But the judge added the extra fees that extend the time frame of the alleged conspiracy and introduce a brand new alleged victim, spells longer work for Maxwell’s defense.
“These additions will require the protection (1) review a considerable sum of discovery that’s now possibly relevant as a consequence of the S2 Indictment; (2) re-review discovery that it had formerly believed in light of the alterations to the case against her(3) conduct new analyses dependent on the new fees, such as potential interviews of witnesses; also (4) reevaluate her trial preparation and approach,” the judge’s ruling conditions.
Even though New York has been habituated to open up again after extended periods of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, the judge added the pandemic remains a complicating element.
“Since the Government signaled in describing the delay in filing the new fees, travel constraints and other security concerns caused by the pandemic have significantly slowed trial prep and complicated the logistics of conducting investigations,” she noted.
Prosecutors had argued that delay was unneeded because Maxwell succeeded in splitting her forthcoming trial in 2. The very first trial will have a jury evaluating claims that Maxwell engaged in sexual trafficking and dressed and abused Jeffrey Epstein’s victims. The second will evaluate if she lied about it under oath in civil lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who declared that Maxwell defamed her by denying it.
“Although the perjury counts were recently severed, the court cannot conclude this sufficiently offsets the extra burdens put on the defense as a consequence of the new fees and expanded time frame caused by the S2 indictment,” Nathan’s ruling states.
Previous hearings had been virtual in light of coronavirus-related constraints that were in place because her original indictment at July 2020.
Judge Nathan ordered prosecutors and defense counsel to indicate that a fall trial date May 10, only 1 week from now.
Read the file here.
[image via JOHANNES EISELE/AFP through Getty Images]
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