© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell appeared via video link during her hearing on her placement at Manhattan Federal Court in New York
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Ghislaine Maxwell attorney has asked a US judge to postpone the July 12 criminal trial against former associate Jeffrey Epstein for at least 90 days, blaming prosecutors for has been late in adding sex trafficking allegations that made her unable to be ready sooner. .
In a letter Thursday night, attorney Bobbi Sternheim said prosecutors “effectively added a brand new case to the existing one” by adding new charges in a copy. March 29 indictment.
Maxwell, 59, has now been charged with 8 felony counts, and could face up to 80 years in prison if found guilty.
Sternheim writes to US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan.
“Continuing – needs caused only by the government – is justified and necessary to protect Ms. Maxwell. Refusing to continue risks damaging justice.”
US Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan declined to comment.
The new allegations involve allegations that between 2001 and 2004, Maxwell groomed and paid a girl, starting at age 14, to give Epstein a nude massage, performing sexual acts with financiers and recruit others to provide erotic massage services.
Maxwell will be charged on April 23.
Before that, she pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit, as-in-law, and sexually abused three other girls between 1994 and 1997, and perjured for lying about her role in the monies given in the year 2016 for a separate civil trial.
In seeking delay, Sternheim cites the need to consider “massive” documents that include more than 2.4 million pages of documents, 214,000 photographs, and hundreds of hours of audio-visual files.
She also called it “ridiculous” by prosecutors to defend the timing of the indictment, saying that travel and safety concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from seeing the whistleblower. Epstein report Wednesday until January.
Maxwell was arrested last July and jailed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Nathan refused bail three times. The Federal Court of Appeal in Manhattan is scheduled to hear Maxwell’s latest bail appeal on April 26.
Epstein committed suicide in prison at the age of 66 in August 2019 after being charged with sex trafficking.
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