Defense lawyers insisted Ghislaine Maxwell is 'no monster' as they asked an appeals court Monday for her release on bail so she can better prepare for trial on charges she procured girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
The lawyers told the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the British socialite has not been given an adequate opportunity to prove that she would not flee if she was allowed to await trial at home under 24-hour armed guard and with collateral posted to support a $28.5 million bail.
The attorneys have thrice failed to convince a Manhattan federal judge to release their 59-year-old client. Maxwell faces an arraignment Friday on sex trafficking charges added to an indictment last month.
Ghislaine Maxwell has been denied bail for a fourth time. Pictured: Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein in 2005. She is accused of procuring underage girls for the pedophile
The ruling will be crushing for Maxwell, 59, who now appears set to remain in jail until her trial in July. Pictured: A court sketch shows Maxwell at her arraignment hearing on July 14, 2020
Judge Alison Nathan has denied Maxwell bail for a fourth time
Her trial is set for July 12 on charges alleging she recruited and groomed teenage girls from 1994 to 2004 to provide sexual massages to her one-time boyfriend. Last week, her lawyers requested that the trial be delayed until next January, saying the new charges require months of investigation.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty. Epstein killed himself in 2019 in a Manhattan federal lockup as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.
As they have repeatedly argued before, lawyers for Maxwell wrote that she is being punished in part because Epstein is out of reach.
'She is no monster, but she is being treated like one because of the `Epstein effect,´' they wrote.
The lawyers urged the 2nd Circuit to 'test the actual strength' of the government case by insisting on a more thorough bail hearing where they could prove that each story told by the four people who say they were victims of Epstein and Maxwell 'has dramatically changed over the years.'
'At first, none of the anonymous accusers even mentioned Ms. Maxwell. As they hired the same law firm, sought money and fame, joined a movement, and only after Epstein died, did the accusers start to point the finger at Ms. Maxwell. Far from corroboration, this is fabrication,' they wrote.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Batman Forever in 1995 in New York City
A spokesperson for prosecutors declined comment.
On Friday, the judge rejected Maxwell´s arguments to toss charges that she recruited three teenager girls from 1994 to 1997 for then-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Judge Nathan denied claims that a non-prosecution agreement Epstein reached with federal prosecutors over a dozen years ago protects Maxwell from prosecution.
She also disagreed that some or all charges should be tossed out for a variety of other perceived flaws.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell are pictured in 1995
The judge, however, did agree that Maxwell can be prosecuted separately on perjury charges. And she said arguments the defense will make against new sex trafficking charges will be decided later.
The judge also rejected arguments that the charges had to be dismissed "because of the possibility of missing witnesses, failing memories, or lost records."
"These are difficulties that arise in any case where there is extended delay in bringing a prosecution, and they do not justify dismissing an indictment," she said.
She also rejected claims that pretrial publicity spoiled Maxwell's chance at a fair trial or resulted from accusers who fabricated stories based on media allegations.
"The Court will not dismiss the indictment on Maxwell´s bare assertion that numerous witnesses are engaged in a perjurious conspiracy against her," she said. "And the Court will take all appropriate steps to ensure that the pretrial publicity in this case does not compromise Maxwell´s right to a fair and impartial jury."
Ghislaine Maxwell, far right, is pictured with Prince Andrew and accuser Virginia Roberts in her townhouse in London. Roberts has filed a criminal lawsuit claiming that she had under-aged sex with Prince Andrew and pedophile Epstein
Maxwell, has been in jail since her arrest on July 2 in Bradford, New Hampshire at her $1 million country home. Pictured: US Attorney for the Southern District Audrey Strauss announced the charges against Maxwell at a press conference last year
Maxwell, has been in jail since her arrest on July 2 in Bradford, New Hampshire at her $1 million country home.
She is accused of enticing girls as young as 14 for Epstein to abuse and in some cases taking part in the abuse.
Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, also perjured herself in a civil case.
She denies all the allegations.
Last week, Maxwell's family has launched a website in support of the British socialite, insisting she's 'no monster' and protesting her innocence.
The site, realghislaine.com, invites people to 'get to know the real Ghislaine' on the website, where they shared biographical details, information about her upcoming trial, jail conditions, as well as the books she is reading behind bars.
'This website has been developed and is maintained by brothers, sisters, family & friends of Ghislaine Maxwell, the people who have known the real Ghislaine all her life, not the fictional one-dimensional character created by the media,' it states.
'We believe wholeheartedly in our beloved sister's innocence and encourage visitors to this site to sign up for updates from the family on her case by providing your e-mail address below in the strictest of confidence.'
Ghislaine Maxwell's older brother Ian spoke out in his sister's defense in a video on the family's new website, realghislaine.com
The launch of the webpage is a notable shift in tone by the famously tight-lipped family, who appear to be trying to salvage Maxwell's reputation ahead of her trial in July