Judge blocks release of 'impure' details of Ghislaine Maxwell case
Judge rules some details of Ghislaine Maxwell court case are too ‘sensational and impure’ to be revealed to public
- U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan in Manhattan on Thursday allowed government redactions to remain in place over Maxwell’s objections
- Maxwell is awaiting a trial scheduled to begin in July on charges of perjury and conspiracy to entice three minors in the 1990s to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein
- Maxwell, 59, has been imprisoned at a federal detention center in Brooklyn after being deemed a flight risk
- Friends and family say they will put up a $28.5 million bond to assure Maxwell’s trial appearance, while she has offered to give up foreign citizenship
- Brother Ian Maxwell has appeared on television in the United States and Britain, portraying his sister as a victim being used as a substitute for Epstein
A federal judge has ruled on a series of redactions proposed by Ghislaine Maxwell and prosecutors to transcripts submitted under seal by the government last month, maintaining most of the government’s redactions while adding some requested by Maxwell and her legal team.
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan in Manhattan on Thursday allowed the government’s redactions to remain in place over Maxwell’s objections, Law & Crime reported.
Maxwell’s legal team filed 12 motions in January requesting the court dismiss all of the charges relating to her alleged role as a recruiter of young girls for infamous and since-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The government responded in February with an ‘omnibus memorandum of law’ opposing Maxwell’s motions, all of which were filed under seal pending rulings on the redactions.
Nathan sided with Maxwell on several additional redactions proposed to transcripts submitted by federal prosecutors, finding that making the details public would cater to a ‘sensational and impure’ public appetite.
‘Those portions of the transcript, which were redacted in the civil matter, concern privacy interests and their disclosure would merely serve to cater to a ‘craving for that which is sensational and impure,’ the judge wrote.
Ghislaine Maxwell at a film premiere in New York City in April 2009. Maxwell, 59, has been imprisoned at a federal detention center in Brooklyn for the past eight months while awaiting a trial scheduled to begin in July on charges of perjury and conspiracy to entice three minors in the 1990s to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein
Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in jail in 2019 before he could face trial in a sex trafficking case in New York
For the past eight months, Maxwell, 59, has been imprisoned at a federal detention center in Brooklyn, The Washington Post reported.
She was twice denied bail as a flight risk while awaiting a trial scheduled to begin in July on charges of perjury and conspiracy to entice three minors in the 1990s to have sex with Epstein, her onetime lover who committed suicide in jail in 2019.
Disgraced billionaire financier Epstein received an extraordinary light sentence after pleading guilty in an underage sex case in Florida in 2005 and died before facing trial in a sex trafficking case in New York.
The prosecutors in Maxwell’s case argued its redactions to transcripts were required in order to ‘protect the integrity’ of its ongoing criminal investigation into Maxwell and to protect the privacy interests of third parties.
Nathan granted most of the government’s requests, reasoning that the redactions were based on legitimate interests to overcome the presumption of public access to judicial documents.
‘Exhibit 1 contains a single redaction—the name of a third party—and the Court concludes that that individual’s personal privacy interests outweigh the presumption of access that exists as to that limited portion of the exhibit,’ Nathan wrote in her ruling.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, who maintained most of the redactions to transcripts sought by federal prosecutors while adding some other redactions requested by Ghislaine Maxwell and her legal team
‘The proposed redactions to Exhibit 7 are similar in that they seek to protect from public access only the names and contact information of third parties. Here, too, the interest in protecting the safety and privacy of those individuals outweighs the presumption of access that attaches to those documents.’
Nathan rejected Maxwell’s objection to redactions containing information ‘that has been made public by other means’ where the information relates to the privacy interests ‘family affairs’ of third parties.
Several other redactions proposed by the government were rejected at Maxwell’s request after Nathan found that prosecutors failed to provide a reasonable basis for them.
The court will allow the government to seek more tailored redactions before the redactions are removed on the public docket.
Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing in Manhattan Federal Court on July 14, 2020. She was denied bail for her alleged role in aiding Jeffrey Epstein recruit and eventually abuse minor girls
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, left, his future wife Melania, center left, financier Jeffrey Epstein, center right, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell gather at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2000
Maxwell, who is a U.S. citizen, offered to renounce her citizenship in the country of her birth, France, and in the country where she grew up, Britain, to show she is not a flight risk. In legal filings, she argued she would lose any possibility of protection from extradition in those countries if she renounces her citizenship.
Maxwell’s third attempt to persuade a judge to release her before her trial has set in motion an effort by her family to reshape her image, aided by publicists and a family attorney.
Friends and family would put up a $28.5 million bond to assure her trial appearance, her brother Ian Maxwell said. Her attorneys also have flooded the court with motions seeking to have her case dismissed while she awaits a decision on her bail request.
Ian Maxwell has appeared on television in the United States and Britain, portraying his sister as a woman of substance and as a victim being used as a substitute for Epstein.
In a video interview with the Post over the weekend, Maxwell maintained his sister is innocent, calling the case against her “flimsy,” and chafed about the difficulty of preparing a defense on charges involving three accusers whose names have not been publicly revealed.
Ian Maxwell hopes to reframe the case as something bigger than the fate of one well-known daughter of privilege. He argues it is part of a controversy over pretrial detention, which has drawn the attention of criminal justice reform advocates who argue that detainees’ constitutional rights are often violated by long jail stints before trial.
“She has an opportunity to try to use her name and her case to try and improve conditions,” Ian Maxwell said. “That’s what she definitely wants to do.”
Attorney Gloria Allred speaks to the media outside New York Criminal Court on February 24, 2020. Allred says she represents 20 victims of Jeffrey Epstein
Maxwell’s attempts to be released pending her trial have been met with outrage by some of Epstein’s accusers.
Gloria Allred, a California-based attorney who says she represents 20 Epstein accusers, said in an interview that she feels “sympathy” for Ian Maxwell “as a brother.”
“I can’t say I feel sympathy for his sister,” Allred said. “It would be so upsetting to so many victims if she was to be released and fled.”
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