The US District Court has set out their case against Brit socialite Ghislaine Maxwell – Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend – stating that they believe she helped groom and abuse his underage victims.
Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI on charges related to the sexual abuse of minors and perjury.
All charges have been filed by Manhattan District Attorney on the grounds of her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Epstein.
Addressing press on Thursday, acting United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, said Maxwell’s charges were the ‘prequel’ to Epstein’s case.
Ms Strauss alleged Maxwell took part and was present in the exploitation of young girls between 1994 to 1997.
She said Maxwell allegedly played a “critical role in helping Jeffrey Epstein to identify, befriend and groom” his victims.
Ms Strauss claimed Maxwell, who has always denied any wrongdoing, “in some cases participated in the abuse herself,” including at her London residence.
The acting US attorney for the south district alleged Maxwell “lied” to the FBI about Jeffrey Epstein’s actions and her involvement under oath, and has also been charged with perjury.
Maxwell lied, Ms Strauss claims, because the “truth is almost unspeakable,” and confirmed investigators would be seeking a prison sentence.
Ms Strauss told press: “Maxwell’s presence as an adult woman helped put the victims at ease as Maxwell and Epstein intended and left minors vulnerable to sexual abuse.
“That abuse included sexualised massages, during which the minor was fully or partially nude.
“The sexualised massages developed into sexual encounters, which in some instances Maxwell was present and would participate.”
“Maxwell and Epstein worked together to entice these minor victims to travel to Epstein’s residences.
“His residence in New York City on the Upper East Side, as well as Palm Beach, Florida and Santa Fe New Mexico.
“Some of the alleged abuse also took place in Maxwell’s residence in London.”
Ms Strauss also addressed perjury charges against Maxwell, claiming Maxwell lied during a 2016 interview when she was questioned under oath.
She said: “In addition to allegedly abiding and participating in the sexual abuse of young victims, Maxwell compounded her crimes by repeatedly lying in 2016 when she was questioned under oath.
“We have charged those lies into the perjury counts.
“Maxwell lied because the truth as alleged was almost unspeakable, Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, and then delivered them into the trap that she and Epstein had set for them.
“She pretended to be a woman they could trust, all the while she was setting them up to be sexually abused by Epstein and in some cases, Maxwell herself.”
Ms Strauss also answered questions from reporters, one of which asked about Prince Andrew’s status in the investigation.
She said: “I’m not going to comment on anyone’s status in this investigation, but I will say that we welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk to us, we would benefit from his statement.
“I have no further comment beyond what I’ve just said, just that our doors remain open as we previously said and welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement.”
Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victim Virgina Giuffre has claimed she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on a number of occasions, a claim Andrew has repeatedly denied.