Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and longtime associate of the deceased sex offender and wealthy socialite Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested on Thursday morning in New Hampshire on multiple charges, including enticing and transporting minors for the purpose of engaging in criminal sexual activity and perjury.
Appearing via video conference from a federal court in New Hampshire, the 58-year-old Maxwell was ordered by US Magistrate Judge Andrea Johnstone to be held in custody and transported to the US District Court of the Southern District of New York located in New York City.
At a press conference on Thursday, Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss, who oversees the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, said, “Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein to identify, befriend, and groom minor victims for abuse. In some cases, Maxwell participated in the abuse herself.”
In their court filings, the prosecutors argued that Maxwell should remain behind bars because of her “extensive international ties” and because she “has absolutely no reason to stay in the United States,” given that she has dual citizenship with the US and Britain and three passports in her name.
In a press release issued by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. is quoted saying “Like Epstein, Ms. Maxwell chose to blatantly disregard the law and her responsibility as an adult, using whatever means she had at her disposal to lure vulnerable youth into behavior they should never have been exposed to, creating the potential for lasting harm.”
The DoJ unsealed the grand jury indictment against Maxwell on Thursday and summarized the case against her as “between at least in or about 1994 through 1997, MAXWELL and co-conspirator Jeffrey Epstein exploited girls as young as 14, including by enticing them to travel and transporting them for the purpose of engaging in illegal sex acts. As alleged, knowing that Epstein had a preference for young girls, MAXWELL played a critical role in the grooming and abuse of minor victims that took place in locations including New York, Florida, and New Mexico.”
Furthermore, the DoJ summary announcement said, “MAXWELL made several false statements in sworn depositions in 2016. MAXWELL is expected to be presented this afternoon in federal court in New Hampshire.”
If convicted on all six charges—four related to illegal activity concerning sex with minors and two related to perjury from depositions given during a case in April 2016—Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison.
The indictment reviews details of Maxwell’s collaboration with Epstein in abusing three teenage girls who are not named. Maxwell is alleged to have enticed the minors by befriending them and taking them shopping and to the movies in order to “normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by, among other things, undressing in front of Minor Victim 1 and being present when Minor Victim 1 undressed in front of Epstein.”
Ghislaine Maxwell, the ninth and youngest child of publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, who died under suspicious circumstances in 1991, was born in France and grew up in Oxford and lived in a 53-room mansion called Headington Hill Hall. She attended college at Oxford University.
She met Jeffrey Epstein at a high-society party in New York City in the early 1990s after her father was either pushed or fell from his 180-foot yacht near the Canary Islands and his naked body was found floating in the North Atlantic by fisherman.
Maxwell has been referred to as Epstein’s “main girlfriend,” “best friend,” “lady of the house” and “assistant.” As of 2008, following Epstein’s “non-prosecution agreement” guilty plea for solicitation of a minor for prostitution—for which he served 13 months of a prison sentence that included a work-release arrangement that allowed him to leave his cell for 12 hours a day—Maxwell had not been seen in public.
Maxwell has faced multiple civil cases filed by Epstein’s victims over the years, including one by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, from which the depositions included in Maxwell’s indictment were taken. According to facts disclosed in this case, the 16-year-old Roberts Giuffre met Maxwell at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, where she had worked and from there Maxwell introduced her to Epstein, after which she was “groomed by the two [of them] for his pleasure.”
Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on July 6, 2019 as he stepped off his private plane at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and charged on federal sex trafficking of minors in New York and Florida. Bail was denied to Epstein and he was being held at the Manhattan Corrections Center awaiting trial when he was discovered unresponsive in his cell and died on August 10 under a cloud of suspicion, including that he was left unmonitored by prison staff for hours and experts have said that the forensic evidence indicates that he was murdered. However, six days after his death, the New York City medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death was “suicide by hanging.”
Through her family connections and activities with Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell had relationships with many elite and super-rich individuals and is in a position to reveal much more of what went on at her friend’s multimillion-dollar residences, including his property in the US Virgin Islands that has been referred to as “Orgy Island.”