Ghislaine Maxwell faces additional charges as new accuser comes forward

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The charges include transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor as well as perjury.

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged madame, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Sex trafficking charges were added Monday to the indictment against financier Jeffrey Epstein's ex-girlfriend as prosecutors alleged that she groomed a 14-year-old girl to recruit other young females in the early 2000s to provide "sexualized massages" to Epstein in return for cash.

Earlier this month, Ms Maxwell's brother Ian Maxwell told BBC News his sister, who was arrested previous year, was being held in "degrading" conditions in jail in Brooklyn.

Maxwell (59) has remained in a federal jail without bail after a judge three times rejected bail packages, the last of which included offers to renounce her citizenships in the United Kingdom and France, to be kept in place by armed guards and to post $28.5 million (€24.2 million) in assets.

During the same period, Maxwell allegedly encouraged and enticed "the minor to recruit other girls to engage in paid sex acts with Epstein, which she did".

Maxwell was already facing six counts tied to Epstein's alleged sex trafficking network.

Maxwell's attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Epstein, who pleaded not guilty, died on August 10, 2019, while awaiting trial in federal prison. Maxwell has appealed the bail rejections.

The indictment alleges that Maxwell interacted with the 14-year-old girl on multiple occasions in Palm Beach and was aware that the girl was under 18 at the time.

Jeffrey Epstein, center, appears in court in West Palm Beach, Florida, July 30, 2008. Prosecutors say she played a key role in Epstein's abuse of underage girls, helping to groom the victims and encouraging them to accept his offers of financial assistance.

Maxwell normalized sexual contact with the girl by discussing sexual topics in front of her and being in her presence when the girl was naked in Epstein's massage room in h...

Earlier this year, Maxwell's lawyers challenged the charges against her, saying they were obtained unjustly and didn't properly allege crimes.

It is unclear whether the new charges could lead to a postponement of Maxwell's scheduled July 12 trial before U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, though prosecutors said Maxwell should have "ample time" to prepare.

In a letter to a judge today, prosecutors acknowledged that the rewritten indictment may require defence lawyers to supplement their arguments to dismiss charges. Her trial is due to start in July but is likely to be delayed because of the pandemic and the new indictment.

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