Ghislaine Maxwell facing sex trafficking charges

Ghislaine Maxwell. Credit: PA

A US indictment in the criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell has added charges of sex trafficking and another alleged victim.

Prosecutors allege there was a conspiracy to sexually abuse girls stretched over a decade.

The charges, contained in a rewritten indictment returned by a grand jury in Manhattan federal court, alleged that a conspiracy between Maxwell and financier Jeffrey Epstein occurred between 1994 and 2004.

An indictment returned after Maxwell’s arrest in July had limited crimes to a three-year period in the 1990s.

Maxwell, 59, has remained in a federal jail without bail after a judge three times rejected bail packages, the last of which included offers to renounce her citizenships in the UK and France, to be kept in place by armed guards and to post $28.5m (£20.7m) in assets.

Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial in New York Credit: Jim James/PA

Maxwell, a US citizen, has pleaded not guilty to charges brought a year after Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges. He killed himself at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019. Maxwell has also appealed against the bail rejections.

The rewritten indictment added a sex trafficking conspiracy and a sex trafficking charge against Maxwell.

It also added a fourth girl to the allegations, saying she was sexually abused multiple times by Epstein between 2001 and 2004 at his residence in Palm Beach, Florida, beginning when she was 14.

The indictment said Maxwell groomed the girl to engage in sex acts with Epstein through multiple ways, including by giving her lingerie and hundreds of dollars in cash and by encouraging the girl to recruit other young females to provide “sexualised massages” to Epstein.

Earlier this year, Maxwell’s lawyers challenged the charges against her, saying they were obtained unjustly and did not properly allege crimes. They said the indictment also violated an agreement federal prosecutors made a dozen years ago not to charge Epstein or those who worked for him.

In a letter to a judge on Monday, prosecutors acknowledged the rewritten indictment may require defence lawyers to supplement their arguments to dismiss charges.

But the government also promised not to bring another rewritten indictment against her if lawyers do not request to postpone a trial scheduled for July 12.