July 6, 2020 / 4:42 PM / a month ago

Accused Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell moved to New York jail

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged accomplice of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, has been moved to a jail in New York, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, where she faces charges of facilitating a sex-trafficking ring.

Maxwell, 58, was arrested on Thursday in New Hampshire and had been held over the weekend at the Merrimack County Jail, a medium-security facility 20 miles (32 km) from the luxurious home where investigators said she had been lying low.

The defendant is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the prison bureau said on Monday.

Conditions there sparked public outcry last year after an electrical fire cut power and heat to roughly 1,600 prisoners during one of the coldest weeks of 2019.

Prosecutors have accused Maxwell, the daughter of the late British media magnate Robert Maxwell, of luring and grooming underage girls so that Epstein could sexually abuse them.

In some cases, Maxwell herself participated in the abuse, according to an indictment unsealed last week.

Maxwell is expected to make her first appearance in federal court in Manhattan on Friday on four criminal counts related to procuring and transporting minors for illegal sex acts and two counts of perjury.

FILE PHOTO: Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York speaks alongside William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office, at a news conference announcing charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein in New York City, New York, U.S., July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Epstein had been awaiting trial on federal charges of trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005 when he was found hanged at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan in August. Medical examiners concluded his death was a suicide.

Maxwell was a former Epstein girlfriend who became a longtime member of his inner circle.

In a 2003 Vanity Fair article, Epstein was quoted as saying Maxwell was his best friend.

The indictment said Maxwell lured girls beginning in 1994 through 1997 by asking them about their lives, schools and families and taking them shopping or to movies.

After Maxwell won the girls’ trust, the indictment alleged, she would try to “normalize sexual abuse” by discussing sexual topics or by undressing in front of them or being present when they were undressed.

Epstein’s alleged abuse included touching their genitals, placing sex toys on their genitals and having the girls touch Epstein while he masturbated.

Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

Ghislaine Maxwell speaks at the Arctic Circle Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland October 2013. The Arctic Circle/Handout via REUTERS

Prosecutors have said Maxwell is a flight risk, and have asked that she be detained without bail.

Christian Everdell, a New York-based lawyer for Maxwell, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Maxwell’s transfer was handled by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall and Karen Freifeld in New York, and Mark Hosenball in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis, Noeleen Walder and Daniel Wallis

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