Judge Adjourns Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial Until the Fall Due to New Sex Trafficking Indictment

A federal judge has stalled Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial until the fall of this year, citing the prosecution’s determination to bring a new indictment in late March adding national gender trafficking charges.
“Having carefully considered the parties’ respective positions,the Court GRANTS Maxwell’s petition for a short continuance until the fall of 2021 to allow the defense to prepare for the extra charges brought from the S2 indictment,” U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan composed.
Federal prosecutors than any delay as stressful to the victims.
“The more this situation remains pending, the more the victims endure the stress of expecting their trial testimony and the doubt of awaiting a settlement,” prosecutors wrote late last month.
A grand jury brought a new indictment against Maxwell after prosecutors supplemented their situation with someone understood only in court documents as”Minor Victim-4.” Other anonymous victims told prosecutors they desired a quick trial.
“Specifically, Minor Victim-3 expressed feeling considerable anxiety throughout the pendency of the case and also a strong urge to have the situation brought to a close through trial whenever possible,” prosecutors wrote in April. “Similarly, Minor Victim-2 also suggested that she has experienced an immense amount of anxiety while this case has been pending, wishes to see the situation brought to trial”
Nathan acknowledged:”The Court is extremely aware of the countervailing factors which require that any adjournment be no more than necessary.”
However, the judge added that the extra fees that extend the time frame of the alleged conspiracy and introduce a new alleged sufferer, spells additional function for Maxwell’s defense.
“These additions will require the protection to (1) review a substantial quantity of discovery that is now potentially relevant as a consequence of the S2 Indictment; (2) re-review discovery which it had formerly considered in light of the adjustments to the situation against her; (3) conduct new investigations depending on the new fees, such as possible interviews of new witnesses; and (4) reevaluate her trial preparation and strategy,” the judge’s judgment states.
Though New York has been habituated to open up again after long periods of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, the judge added that the pandemic remains a complicating element.
“Since the Government signaled in explaining the delay in submitting the new fees, travel constraints and other safety concerns caused by the pandemic have slowed trial preparation and complex the logistics of conducting investigations,” she mentioned.
Prosecutors had argued that delay was unnecessary because Maxwell succeeded in breaking up her forthcoming trial in two. The first trial is going to have jury evaluating claims that Maxwell engaged in sex trafficking and dressed and mistreated Jeffrey Epstein’s victims. The second will evaluate whether she lied about it under oath in civil lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who declared the Maxwell defamed her by denying it.
“Though the perjury counts were severed, the court cannot conclude that this adequately offsets the extra burdens put on the defense as a consequence of the new fees and expanded time frame caused by the S2 indictment,” Nathan’s judgment states.
Previous hearings had been virtual in light of coronavirus-related restrictions which were set up since her first indictment in July 2020.
Judge Nathan arranged prosecutors and defense counsel to suggest a fall trial date by May 10, just one week from today.
Read the file here.
[picture via JOHANNES EISELE/AFP through Getty Images]
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