July 14, 2020
Ghislaine Maxwell Pleads Not Guilty In Sex-Crimes Case

Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded "not guilty" Tuesday, CNBC reported. Maxwell is accused of procuring and grooming underage girls to have sex with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell, 58, is charged with six federal crimes, including enticement of minors, sex trafficking, and perjury. On Tuesday, she appeared via video conference, along with her defense team, to enter her plea.

Judge Alison Nathan asked Maxwell if she had had a chance to discuss the criminal charges against her with her attorney, to which she answered in the affirmative, according to The Guardian. Maxwell then declined to hear the charges against read aloud.

When asked how she pleaded, Maxwell answered, "Not guilty, your honor."

The Guardian reporter Victoria Bekiempis described Maxwell as looking "unsettled" and wearing a simple brown top, "a far cry from the glamorous, jet-setting image she once cultivated." She took off her glasses and, for the most part, looked directly into the camera that was present.

According to the Guardian report, technical issues caused the audio to cut out multiple times during the proceedings; this caused Judge Nathan to advise Maxwell to speak up she was unable to hear any of the proceedings.

During the arraignment, prosecutors read statements from a handful of Maxwell's accusers. One, identified as "Jane Doe," said that Maxwell "enjoyed drawing her victims in with perceived caring."

"Without Ghislaine, Jeffrey could not have done what he did," the accuser said.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Ghislaine Maxwell attends the 2014 ETM (EDUCATION THROUGH MUSIC) Children's Benefit Gala at Capitale on May 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Getty Images | Rob Kim

Alleged victim Annie Farmer, who addressed the court via telephone, said that she had crossed paths with Maxwell when she was 16.

"She was a serial predator when she met and groomed me and countless other women," Farmer said.

Maxwell, for her part, has consistently denied any wrongdoing. Her attorneys have said that she "vigorously denies the charges" and have held that she's "entitled to the presumption of innocence."

The prosecution and defense, respectively, each laid out their cases for how they believe Maxwell should be held in the time before her eventual trial. Prosecutors want her held in custody, without bail, arguing that her vast wealth and her access to properties make her a flight risk. Her defense team, however, believes that Maxwell should be kept on home confinement and fitted with a GPS monitoring device with a $5 million bail deal that would require her to surrender her passports, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.

Maxwell's trial has been scheduled for July 12, 2021. It is expected to last two weeks.