Judge Rejects Ghislaine Maxwell Plea Deal: Elite Co-Conspirators to Be Named at Trial
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ensures Jeffery Epstein madam will face jury this month
A federal judge has ruled that embattled British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell can forget about a plea deal to escape her upcoming child sex trafficking trial.
Federal prosecutors say they are refusing to offer Jeffrey Epstein’s 59-year-old accused madam any kind of a deal before her trial gets underway this month.
The judge in her explosive sex-trafficking case is now also playing hardball with her, too, by agreeing with prosecutors.
The wealthy publishing heiress has long been suspected of being a pimp to late billionaire pedophile Epstein.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan has ruled against some of the government and Maxwell’s proposed redactions of materials for her upcoming child trafficking trial, characterizing them as “overbroad.”
The ruling opens up the possibility that A-listers who have been rumored to be associated with Epstein—including former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, business executives, and celebrities—could be named in a case that’s surrounded by intrigue and conspiracy theories.
Judge Nathan also delivered another blow to the fallen British socialite — who was led into court in shackles.
Nathan ruled that prosecutors can refer to Maxwell’s accusers as “minors” and “victims" and that the women can use pseudonyms when they testify at her trial later this month.
Maxwell appeared in Manhattan federal court, also wearing a blue prison uniform and white mask, for the final motions hearing before her trial is scheduled to start Nov. 29.
She watched as the judge dismissed many of the proposed last-minute restrictions her legal team sought for her trial.
Maxwell is accused of acquiring girls and women for the late wealthy pedophile Epstein and his powerful associates to abuse.
On Oct. 20, Maxwell’s defense team filed motions containing 13 items, including asking that the words “victims” and “minor victims” not be used at trial and that there be no reference to any allegations of “‘rape’ by Jeffrey Epstein,” the New York Post reported.
The defense also sought to bar evidence from a person identified as “accuser 3″ and any expert witness testimony from law enforcement officials.
Prohibiting words such as “victims” and “minors” in the trial would not be practical, Nathan ruled.
Allowing victims to testify under pseudonyms would protect them from harassment, she said.
Judge Nathan cited Keith Raniere, leader of the Nxivm cult, who would not have been convicted unless the identity of witnesses had been protected.
Raniere is serving 120 years for crimes including sex trafficking and more, according to The New York Times.
Nathan also ruled Maxwell’s defense could not use a controversial 2008 non-prosecution agreement made with Epstein before he pleaded guilty in Florida to state charges of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and felony solicitation of prostitution.
In addition, the judge also said the defense could not claim Maxwell was being charged due to extensive news coverage.
“The court finds that this specific proffered evidence is irrelevant to the charged conduct and is therefore inadmissible,” Nathan said, according to the Post.
The defense motions called for no reference to “alleged flight” by Maxwell, who was arrested in July 2020 at her remote New Hampshire estate.
The New York Times had reported that she attempted to evade FBI agents when they came on her property.
She was visible running from one room to another, agents said.
Since then, despite repeated pleas, the wealthy media heiress has been held without bail.
Maxwell appeared in court Monday in shackles, and defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim complained about that.
She also protested Maxwell’s treatment in jail, claiming, among other things, poor delivery of mail.
“She was woken up at 3:45 a.m. and brought here after 5,” Sternheim said in court, according to the Post.
“It was cold. She is given food without utensils. She is shackled.”
The judge made no ruling on that and denied most aspects of the Oct. 20 defense motions.
In 2019, Epstein died while in custody while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.
Authorities ruled that he had hanged himself.