Federal prosecutors on Monday filed sex trafficking charges against Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein, accusing her of grooming a 14-year-old girl to perform "sexualized massages" for Epstein in the early 2000s.
Maxwell was previously charged with assisting Epstein in recruiting, grooming, and sexually abusing girls, but that indictment did not include sex trafficking accusations. The new indictment alleges that Maxwell knew the 14-year-old was under 18 when she began grooming her, and after the girl performed massages on Epstein, Maxwell or other Epstein employees gave the minor hundreds of dollars in cash. Prosecutors said Maxwell and Epstein also pushed the girl to recruit other young women to give Epstein sexualized massages.
Maxwell was arrested last summer, and pleaded not guilty to the initial charges; she is being held in jail without bail, with her trial scheduled to begin in July. Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender, was arrested in July 2019 on federal charges of sex trafficking minors. He died a month later in his New York jail cell, with the medical examiner ruling his death a suicide.