Evidence deadline looms in case of Epstein's ex-girlfriend

FILE - In this July 2, 2020, file photo, Audrey Strauss, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell during a news conference, in New York. Transcripts released Thursday show the ex-girlfriend of financier Jeffrey Epstein was combative and defensive under tough questioning four years ago about her ex-boyfriends interactions with underage girls. Ghislaine Maxwell said she "never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever." (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE - In this July 2, 2020, file photo, Audrey Strauss, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell during a news conference, in New York. Transcripts released Thursday show the ex-girlfriend of financier Jeffrey Epstein was combative and defensive under tough questioning four years ago about her ex-boyfriends interactions with underage girls. Ghislaine Maxwell said she "never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever." (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – Prosecutors and defense lawyers are clashing days before a deadline for evidence to be turned over in the prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein’s one-time girlfriend on charges that she recruited girls for him to sexually abuse.

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is not scheduled to start until July, but prosecutors must turn over evidence to her lawyers by Monday.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that she recruited three girls in the mid-1990s for Epstein to abuse. Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan federal lockup in August 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

On Oct. 30, prosecutors said in a letter to a Manhattan federal court judge that they will in the next week give Maxwell's lawyers over 1.2 million documents from devices seized from Epstein's residences.

They say they've already turned over more than 350,000 pages of documents, including search warrants, subpoena returns and some records related to law enforcement investigations of Epstein.

Defense lawyers have complained since Maxwell’s July arrest that prosecutors are slow walking the turnover of evidence the defense needs to prepare its arguments to challenge charges against the 58-year-old British socialite. The arguments are due Dec. 21.

“Summer is gone, Winter is coming, and the Government has failed to make good on its promises,” the lawyers wrote.

The lawyers said in an Oct. 23 letter to the trial judge that prosecutors had promised substantial production of evidence would occur quickly, but so far it has been “'substantial' in size, not substance."