- The Washington Times
Thursday, July 30, 2020

A federal judge late Wednesday postponed unsealing a deposition of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell.

The deposition was expected to be unsealed Wednesday, but U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska delayed unsealing the deposition until Monday so Ms. Maxwell could appeal its release.

Federal prosecutors earlier this month charged Ms. Maxwell with helping recruit, groom and abuse underage girls as young as 14 as part of a decades-long sex traffic empire led by Epstein. She also faces two counts of perjury and has pleaded not guilty.

Ms. Maxwell, who was Epstein’s former girlfriend, gave the deposition in 2016 in a now-settled civil defamation lawsuit filed against her by Virginia Giuffre, who claims Ms. Maxwell helped Epstein sexually traffic her when she was underage.

Ms. Maxwell has denied knowing if Epstein was trafficking and abusing underage girls.

Judge Preska had ordered the deposition unsealed last week, but she decided to give Ms. Maxwell’s legal team a week to file an appeal with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

She said the matter deserves a second look because it had not been considered since her arrest.

“Ms. Maxwell’s request for reconsideration hinges on her assertion that new developments, i.e., her indictment and arrest, provide compelling reasons for keeping the deposition transcripts sealed,” Judge Preska wrote in the order.

“But, despite Ms. Maxwell’s contention that she could not address the effect of those events in her objections because they occurred after the close of briefing, this is plowed ground,” she added.

If the Circuit Court denies the bid to shield the documents from the public, the deposition and documents relating to it will be unsealed on Monday.

Also included in the deposition are emails and depositions by Ms. Giuffre and anonymous women who have claimed to have been abused by Epstein.

Ms. Maxwell’s legal team has argued Ms. Giuffre’s legal team improperly turned over the deposition to prosecutors who were pursuing the case against their client.

The arrest of Ms. Maxwell comes roughly one year after Epstein’s arrest on sex trafficking charges. He killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial.

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