Ghislaine Maxwell pleads not guilty to latest criminal charges

Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of acting as an accomplice to the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, made her first in-person court appearance this week.

She surprised some people following the case by pleading not guilty to the newest charges against her, The Washington Times reported.

Background on the case

At issue in Friday’s court appearance were the two latest counts stemming from conduct that allegedly occurred between 2001 and 2004.

Prosecutors say Maxwell engaged in sex trafficking, accusing her of bringing a 14-year-old girl to Epstein’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, where the minor was abused.

These charges are different than initial counts dating back to the period between 1994 and 1997.

During the earlier timeframe, Maxwell is accused of grooming and abusing young girls alongside Epstein. She also stands accused of lying in depositions during a defamation case involving Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s alleged victims.

Maxwell’s defense team recently filed several motions in an attempt to see the older charges dismissed. One such motion included Maxwell’s argument that she was shielded by a plea deal Epstein signed with prosecutors in 2007. Another motion argued that the statute of limitations prevented the state from prosecuting her.

Details about her charges

Both of the motions, however, were dismissed by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. The judge did grant a separate motion that will result in Maxwell facing two separate trials instead of just one.

One trial will focus on charges of grooming and child sex abuse while the other will include charges related to perjury.

In total, Maxwell is charged with eight criminal counts, according to Fox News, and faces a possible sentence of 40 years behind bars if convicted. The charges include conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiring to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, conspiring to commit sex trafficking, sex trafficking of a minor, and two perjury counts.

As it stands, Maxwell’s trial is set to begin in July.

On Friday, Nathan told attorneys to prepare for the trial to begin at that time but acknowledged that other factors could result in a delay.

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