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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Ghislaine Maxwell’s Sex Trafficking Trial Delayed

A United States judge has postponed until autumn the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell on charges of trafficking teenage girls for late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan on May 3 has granted Maxwell’s request to delay her trial scheduled for July 12, saying that it was reasonable because of the new charges added last March and the COVID-19 pandemic hindering trial preparations.

“As the government indicated in explaining the delay in filing the new charges, travel constraints and other safety concerns resulting from the pandemic have slowed trial preparation and complicated the logistics of conducting investigations,” Nathan said in the ruling.

Nathan directed prosecutors and Maxwell’s lawyers to propose “the earliest possible date this fall” by May 10.

Though Maxwell’s lawyers had requested to delay the trial by at least three months for preparations, they urged for a date in January 2022.

The court agreed that the new charges and the increased time frame of the allegations required “a substantial amount of discovery that is now potentially relevant,” but denied to delay the trial until early next year.

“No additional delay is necessary or in the interests of justice,” Nathan said in the ruling.

“Importantly, any victims and the public more broadly have a strong interest in trial proceeding without undue delay,” Nathan also said.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty last April to sex trafficking charges and other charges of allegedly aiding former boyfriend Epstein in sexually abusing teenage girls between 1994 and 2004.

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