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Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty on Friday to sex trafficking charges related to her alleged abuse of a 14-year-old girl.
Making her first in-person court appearance since her arrest last July, Maxwell, 59, was seen wearing a blue jail uniform with her ankles in shackles, with her hair grown past her shoulders. Isabel Maxwell, Ghislaine’s sister, was also present in the courtroom.
Last month, Maxwell was charged with the sex trafficking of a minor for her role in allegedly recruiting, grooming and paying a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual acts with Jeffrey Epstein. According to a federal indictment, the abuse of the girl took place from 2001 to 2004, when the girl gave nude massages to Epstein and Epstein “engaged in multiple sex acts” with her.
The indictment also said Maxwell “sought to normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by, among other things, discussing sexual topics in front of [the 14-year-old girl] and being present when [the girl] was nude in the massage room of the Palm Beach Residence.” Maxwell or Epstein’s other employees paid the 14-year-old girl “hundreds of dollars in cash” after each massage, according to the indictment, and the girl was encouraged to recruit other young girls to give “sexualized massages” to Epstein.
Previously, Maxwell was charged with aiding Epstein’s abuse of young girls by recruiting, grooming and abusing girls as young as 14 from the years 1994 to 1997. She pleaded not guilty to those charges last July, shortly after her arrest.
She faces a total of eight charges: conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of a minor and two counts of perjury.
Her trial is expected to take place on July 12.
“Ghislaine is looking forward to that trial,” David Markus, a spokesman for Maxwell, said after the arraignment, according to Reuters. “She’s looking forward to fighting and she will fight.”
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