Prosecutors urged a federal appeals court to uphold the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty of trafficking women and girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Maxwell asked a federal appeals court in February to overturn his conviction and 20-year prison sentence.
“The government’s evidence at trial established that over the course of a decade, Maxwell facilitated and participated in the sexual abuse of several young girls,” prosecutors wrote in their response brief.
Maxwell was sentenced in December 2021. From 1994 to 2004, Maxwell and Epstein worked together to identify girls, groom them, and then invite them to travel and transport them to Epstein’s properties in Nova York, Florida, New Mexico and elsewhere, prosecutors said. . The girls, some as young as 14, were sexually abused, often under the guise of a “massage”, they said.
Maxwell argued that she was only prosecuted “as a proxy for Jeffrey Epstein” after he killed himself in prison. He said prosecutors brought a criminal case against her “to satisfy public outrage over an unpopular plea deal and the death of the person responsible for the crimes.”
Ghislaine Maxwell, an associate of Jeffrey Epstein, arrives in shackles at her sentencing hearing in a courtroom sketch in New York City on June 28, 2022.
Maxwell said she was inoculated by a 2007 nonprosecution agreement Florida federal prosecutors reached with Epstein that allowed him to plead guilty to state charges and serve 13 months in a work-release program.
“In its eagerness to blame Maxwell for its own incompetence and Epstein’s crimes, the government broke its promise not to prosecute Maxwell, charged her with statute of limitations, resurrected and rebutted decades-old allegations of “seniority for conduct previously attributed to Epstein. and other named assistants, and joined forces with the plaintiffs’ civil attorneys, whose interests were financial, to develop new allegations that will support the charges against Maxwell,” his defense attorneys argued in his appeal.
Prosecutors said the district court correctly ruled that Maxwell was not covered by the nonprosecution agreement.
“The NPA also provided that, if Epstein followed through on the agreement,” the United States also agrees that it will not bring criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein, including, but not limited to, four named individuals, none of which it was Maxwell In fact, Maxwell was not a party to the agreement or involved in the negotiation of its terms,” prosecutors said in their response brief.
The defense also appealed based on a juror’s omission from a pretrial questionnaire that she was a victim of child sexual abuse. After the verdict, Juror 50 spoke publicly about the effect of his sexual abuse on his jury service.
“Regardless of whether the juror’s false statements were intentional, which they clearly were, the similarities between the traumatic experiences described by the juror and the victims in the case, along with the juror’s public statements, established juror bias.” , said the defense.
Prosecutors argued that the judge was right to conclude that Juror 50, who he said made an inadvertent error, was able to be fair and impartial.
“This case does not fall within one of the rare and extreme circumstances in which a mandatory presumption of bias applies,” prosecutors said.