Ghislaine Maxwell wants trial delay, accused Reuters prosecutors

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell videolinked during her trial in Manhattan federal court in New York

From Jonathan stamp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Ghislaine Maxwell attorney has asked a U.S. judge to postpone the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein’s former associate on July 12 for at least 90 days.

In a letter Thursday evening, attorney Bobbi Sternheim said prosecutors “added a brand new case to the existing case” by adding the new charges in a March 29 indictment.

59-year-old Maxwell has now been charged with eight crimes and could face 80 years in prison if convicted.

“The new fees increase the stakes,” wrote Sternheim to the US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan.

“Survival – the necessity of which is solely government-driven – is sensible and necessary to defend Ms. Maxwell. Refusing to exist runs the risk of the judiciary being wrong.”

A spokesman for US attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan declined to comment.

The new charges concern allegations that between 2001 and 2004 Maxwell cared for and paid a girl aged 14 and over to give Epstein nude massages, engage in sexual activity with the financier, and recruit others to offer erotic massages.

Maxwell is due to be charged on April 23 on these allegations.

She previously pleaded not guilty of helping Epstein recruit, groom, and sexually abuse three other girls from 1994 to 1997.

In order to achieve a delay, Sternheim pointed out the need to review “extensive” material, including more than 2.4 million pages of documents, 214,000 photos and hundreds of hours of audiovisual files.

She also called it “ridiculous” for prosecutors to defend the prosecution date, saying travel and safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic had kept them from meeting the fourth Epstein prosecutor until January.

Maxwell was arrested last July and detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Nathan refused bail three times. The Manhattan federal appeals court is expected to hear Maxwell’s latest bail appeal on April 26.

Epstein killed himself in prison in August 2019, aged 66, after being charged with sex trafficking.

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