First court appearance set for Ghislaine Maxwell in Epstein case

New York (AFP) –


British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who faces sex trafficking charges related to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, will appear in court remotely for an arraignment and bail hearing on July 14, the judge handling the case wrote Tuesday.

Maxwell -- who was arrested on July 2 after months of living in seclusion, and moved to a federal jail in New York -- faces six counts related to crimes allegedly committed by Epstein, her former boyfriend and a convicted sex offender who killed himself in prison while awaiting trial last summer.

They include perjury and conspiracy to entice minors as young as 14 years old to travel in order to engage in illegal sex acts. Maxwell is also accused of taking part in some of the sexual abuse.

"An arraignment, initial conference, and bail hearing in this matter is hereby scheduled to occur as a remote video/teleconference," due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on July 14 at 1 pm, wrote Federal Judge Alison Nathan in an order registered with the court on Tuesday.

At the hearing, prosecutors will argue for Maxwell to remain behind bars without bail.

Maxwell, 58, is the daughter of late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell.

Prosecutors say she is an "extreme" flight risk, pointing out that she has passports from the United States, Britain and France.

The attorneys also say they have identified 15 bank accounts associated with her in the last four years. The total balance of these accounts has ranged from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $20 million.