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Prosecutors Add Sex Trafficking Charges Against Ghislaine Maxwell

Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a July 2, 2020, press conference in New York City. - Maxwell, the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in the United States on July 2, 2020, by FBI officers investigating his sex crimes, multiple US media outlets reported. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, submitted new charges against Ghislaine Maxwell Monday. Maxwell, the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was first arrested in the United States on July 2, 2020.

Federal prosecutors in New York filed new charges of sex trafficking a minor and sex trafficking conspiracy Monday against Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell is accused of grooming a 14-year-old girl to engage in sexual acts with Epstein from 2001 to 2004. The abuse allegedly took place in Epstein's Palm Beach estate in Florida. The new indictment alleges that the 14-year-old girl, referred to as "Minor Victim-4" in court documents, was paid by Epstein and, at times, Maxwell for giving the billionaire "sexual massages." The teen or Epstein were often partially or fully nude during these massages, prosecutors said. Epstein would also engage in various sexual acts with the girl at that time, they said. The two new counts broaden the time period of the sexual abuse allegations prosecutors allege Maxwell and Epstein committed. The original indictment against Maxwell was filed for alleged crimes committed during the 1990s; the new indictment indicates abuse and the sex trafficking of
"Minor Victim-4" continued from 2001 until as recently as 2004. Maxwell still faces other charges that include transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity and conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Maxwell was arrested last July in New Hampshire--nearly a year after Epstein was charged and detained. About a month after his arrest, Epstein died after being found unresponsive in his jail cell in Manhattan. His death was ruled a suicide.Gaining trustProsecutors said Maxwell would gain this victim's trust by asking her about family and other aspects of her life. It was a similar method she used on several other victims of Epstein, according to court documents. Maxwell would normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by talking about sexual topics in front of the teen girl or by being present in the massage room when the girl was naked. Epstein's employees, including Maxwell at times, would call the victim from various locations at her home in Florida to set up an appointment to massage Epstein. After these incidents, the girl would be paid hundreds of dollars by Epstein, his employees, or Maxwell. From New York, the girl would also be sent gifts, including lingerie, by Epstein's inner circle. Maxwell and Epstein encouraged the girl to bring her friends or to recruit other young women to provide massages to the much-older financier. "Minor Victim-4" allegedly brought multiple girls, including those under 18, to provide such massages for Epstein at his Palm Beach home. The teen girl and the person she brought would then be paid hundreds of dollars in cash by Epstein or Maxwell. Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.