Ghislaine Maxwell loses candidacy to ban perjured testimony from criminal trial

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NEW YORK (AP) – Two depositions by Ghislaine Maxwell in 2016 in a civil case in which she was repeatedly questioned about the sexual activities of financier Jeffrey Epstein can be used in his criminal trial this year despite objections from his lawyers , a judge said on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan in Manhattan has rejected a request to ban prosecutors from using Maxwell’s interviews during his sex trafficking trial in November.

Lawyers for the British socialite accused of causing teenage girls to sexually abuse Epstein had argued that Maxwell only participated in the depositions because he was promised they would be kept secret.

The judge sealed his opinion by explaining his reasoning until lawyers had time to recommend redactions.

Maxwell, 59, has been in jail since her arrest last July. Epstein’s ex-girlfriend has pleaded not guilty to the charges of recruiting four teenage girls between 1994 and 2004 for Epstein.

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Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, committed suicide in his cell in a Manhattan federal dungeon in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.

Jeffrey Epstein, March 28, 2017 (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP, File)

Judge Nathan has denied bail requests three times and a federal appeals court has twice allowed Maxwell to remain in jail despite his willingness to promise $ 28.5 million bail that would include 24-hour armed guards on 24 and an offer to reject his British and French nationalities. She is also an American citizen.

His lawyers had hoped to force the dismissal of two counts of perjury stemming from his answers to questions during depositions in April and July 2016.

On one count, she was accused of lying when she said “I don’t know what you’re talking about” when asked in the April 2016 deposition if Epstein had a “plan to recruit underage girls for sexual massages “.

On another count, she was charged with perjury for saying she did not remember whether she was aware of the presence of toys or sex devices in sexual activity at Epstein’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, and for saying she didn’t know if Epstein was having sex with someone other than herself.

The perjury charges stem from Maxwell’s comments in depositions resulting from a lawsuit since settled against her by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre.

Redacted versions of transcripts of depositions were made public earlier this year by a judge in response to requests from the Miami Herald.

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, far right, appears in Manhattan Federal Court sitting next to her lawyer Bobbi C. Sternheim, second from left, with sister Isabel Maxwell, far left, during his arraignment on a previous indictment, on April 23, 2021, in New York City. (AP Photo / Elizabeth Williams)

Arguing that depositions should be suppressed and unavailable for use in the criminal trial, lawyers for Maxwell said their client decided to answer questions during depositions rather than invoke his privilege against self-incrimination. mandatory, because a court-approved agreement ensured that the evidence would remain confidential. .

Lawyers noted that a judge cited the promise of confidentiality in granting a request that Maxwell be forced to answer “very intrusive questions” related to his own sexual activity and his knowledge of the sexual activity of others during depositions.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

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