A federal judge has approved a request to postpone Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial, giving the disgraced socialite extra time to prepare her defense after she was slapped with a new round of charges.
The long-time Jeffrey Epstein confidante was granted a “short” delay on Monday, with US District Judge Alison Nathan ordering her defense team and prosecutors to agree on a new trial date by next week, saying it should not be later than sometime in the fall.
“No additional delay is necessary or in the interests of justice,” the judge said.
While Maxwell’s trial was originally set to begin on July 12, her lawyers asked for additional time after she was hit with another indictment in late March, charging her with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking involving a minor. Facing eight counts and some 80 years in prison over her alleged role in procuring underage girls for sex with Epstein, she has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including the latest.
Though prosecutors initially objected to Maxwell’s request to postpone the trial until as late as January, they ultimately said they were open to a March 2022 start date to avoid scheduling conflicts. In arguing for the fall deadline, however, Nathan said the adjournment should be “no longer than necessary” and that both Maxwell’s alleged victims and the broader public have a “strong interest” in the trial proceeding “without undue delay.”
Maxwell has repeatedly complained of “hell hole” conditions at the Brooklyn Detention Center where she is held, with her lawyers arguing the “horrific” state of her confinement “[makes] it impossible for her to prepare for her trial.”
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