Feds may drop perjury charges against Ghislaine Maxwell to protect victims from testifying again
NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors said Monday they are prepared to drop perjury charges against Ghislaine Maxwell to save her victims from having to testify in a second trial.
In a Manhattan Federal Court filing, prosecutors said they would dismiss two counts of lying under oath against Jeffrey Epstein’s chief enabler “in light of the victims’ significant interests in bringing closure to this matter and avoiding the trauma of testifying again.”
The decision hinges on whether Maxwell gets a retrial on sex-trafficking charges over her claims of juror misconduct. Maxwell asked last week for her guilty verdict to be tossed after it emerged one of the jurors on her case could not recall if he had disclosed during jury selection that he’d been sexually abused as a child.
Maxwell had expected to face a second trial on the perjury charges, which stem from two depositions she gave in a 2016 lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Prosecutors say she lied under oath about Epstein’s sex toys.
“I don’t recollect anything about a laundry basket of sex toys,” Maxwell said during one of the depositions.
Witnesses testified during Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial about her stash of sex toys.
Some victims said Epstein used the devices to sexually abuse them. Epstein’s former house manager of 10 years, Juan Alessi, testified about Maxwell storing them in her bathroom at the financier’s Palm Beach mansion.
“I remember finding a large dildo,” the longtime housekeeper recalled. “I just put my gloves on, put it in the sink, run it under water, and put the dildo in Ms. Maxwell’s closet in the basket.”
Maxwell was convicted on Dec. 29 of facilitating Epstein’s sexual abuse of minors from 1994 to 2004.
Prosecutors asked Judge Alison Nathan to schedule Maxwell’s sentencing on the sex-trafficking charges for March or April. The British socialite faces a maximum of 65 years in prison.
Maxwell’s lawyers asked for the judge to hold off on scheduling a date while they investigate the juror.
Nathan will rule on the request.