NEW YORK – A British socialite charged with recruiting teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s asked a judge Monday to dismiss the case on multiple grounds, including that a deal years ago not to prosecute Epstein and others should shield her from prosecution.
Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell said the indictment against their client was obtained unjustly and doesn’t allege crimes specific enough to bring before a jury.
But they listed first among 12 separate arguments attacking the indictment that a non-prosecution deal Epstein reached with the federal government a dozen years ago should shield Maxwell from prosecution too.
The agreement sought to protect Epstein and those around him, but Maxwell was not identified by name in the document that was signed as Epstein agreed to plead guilty to state charges in Florida that forced him to register as a sex offender afterward.
Lawyers for Epstein had planned to argue that the deal with federal prosecutors in Florida in 2008 protected him against sex trafficking charges lodged against him in July 2019 in New York City.
Manhattan federal prosecutors maintained they could proceed against Epstein or those who worked for him regardless. Epstein killed himself at a Manhattan federal lockup a month after his arrest.
Maxwell, 59, was arrested last July and has remained jailed on grounds she might flee.
She has pleaded not guilty to charges that she recruited three teenage girls, including a 14-year-old, for Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to 1997. The indictment alleged she sometimes joined in the abuse.