MANHATTAN (CN) — Refusing to let Jeffrey Epstein's accused partner in crime spend the next year awaiting trial from a luxury New York City hotel, a federal judge denied bail Tuesday to Ghislaine Maxwell.
"The risks are simply too great," U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan proclaimed, toward the end of a nearly 2-1/2-hour hearing where Maxwell pleaded not guilty to six charges of grooming and abusing Epstein's victims.
The Obama-appointed Judge Nathan set a trial date for July 12, 2021, almost exactly a year from now.
As happened during Epstein’s hearing last year, the judge ruled after accusers were given the opportunity to argue for continued detention. Through a written statement read by a prosecutor, one anonymous woman depicted Maxwell as a woman with “nothing to lose” and “no remorse.”
"She was a predator and a monster," Jane Doe said. "The sociopathic manner in which she nurtured our relationship, abused my trust, and took advantage of my vulnerability makes it clear to me that she would have done anything to get what she wanted, to satisfy Mr. Epstein."
Without directly accusing Maxwell of witness intimidation, the Jane Doe accuser described having received a call threatening her 2-year-old after she stepped forward as a victim.
Another woman, Annie Farmer, call Maxwell “a sexual predator” who abused her and displayed contempt for the legal system.
“She has never showed any remorse for her heinous crimes or the devastating, lasting affects her actions caused,” Farmer said. “Instead she has lied under oath and tormented her survivors. The danger Maxwell poses must be taken seriously. She has associates across the globe, some of great means and is a significant flight risk.”
On top of charges accusing her of grooming and abusing underage girls for Epstein’s predation, Maxwell faces two counts of perjury for alleged false testimony during depositions in civil cases. In one of those cases, Virginia Giuffre claimed that Maxwell turned her into Epstein’s “sex slave” and trafficked her to powerful people around the world, including the United Kingdom’s Prince Andrew.
No longer living the jet-setting life, the former British socialite appeared in court via closed-circuit TV transmitted from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where she has been held since her arrest two weeks ago. Defense attorney Mark Cohen cited the coronavirus pandemic as a basis to free Maxwell, who is 58. Though no one has died of Covid-19 at the MDC, five people incarcerated there have reported infections.
Like many in the Southern District of New York, Judge Nathan expressed concerns in the past about how U.S. jails and prisons are handling the coronavirus pandemic. The judge also emphasized, however, that Maxwell’s age and underlying conditions do not make her at risk.
Of higher concern to Nathan was what prosecutors called Maxwell’s “extreme risk of flight.” This finding came after prosecutors described Maxwell’s astonishingly sub-rosa life, traveling frequently with three passports, owning more than a dozen bank accounts, living under assumed alter egos, and even entering into a secret marriage that she would not disclose to prosecutors.
That revelation came up in an offhand remark as Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe described Maxwell’s attempt to maintain secrecy over her assets.
“In addition to failing to describe in any way the absence of proposed co-signers of a bond, the defendant also makes no mention whatsoever about the financial circumstances or assets of her spouse whose identity she declined to provide to pretrial services,” Moe revealed.
Troubled by such disclosures, Judge Nathan ruled: “The court is persuaded that the government has met its burden,” adding the evidence against Maxwell “appears strong.”