Ghislaine Maxwell was hiding from the authorities for over a year. She was found in a luxurious estate in England.
The high profile case of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein involving the sexual abuse and exploitation of dozens of underage girls shocked the world. However, even before he could be convicted of the heinous crimes, Epstein was found dead at his New York prison cell on 10 August 2019, according to BBC News.
While questions and controversies relating to his death at one of the most secure prisons in the country continue to arise, all eyes are now turned to the recent development in the case.
Ghislaine Maxwell arrest sends tremors through Epstein’s celebrity circle https://t.co/abWpnXwVGx— The Guardian (@guardian) July 2, 2020
Epstein's former girlfriend and associate Ghislaine Maxwell has been arrested by the FBI. The arrest comes exactly a year after Epstein was charged "in a federal indictment with sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of girls and women at his mansion in Manhattan, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., and other locations," according to the New York Times.
Maxwell allegedly helped Epstein in grooming, exploiting and abusing girls as young as 14, according to a New York prosecutor. She is also accused of taking part in the abuse along with Epstein, according to People. She is said to have helped the financer "identify, befriend and groom minor victims of abuse."
Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York presented multiple charges such as engaging and grooming minors for illegal sex acts, transporting minors, illegal sex acts and perjury was put against the British socialite from at least 1994 to 1997.
Strauss stated that the couple "had a method" to befriend the girls. He alleged that they went about "asking them questions about their lives and pretending to be taking an interest in them," according to People.
Ghislaine Maxwell, an associate of Jeffrey Espstein, arrested by federal authorities: source https://t.co/w6jbGu2lDv— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 2, 2020
He claimed that they "would take them to the movies and treat them to shopping trips. Maxwell would encourage these young girls to accept offers from Epstein to pay for their travel and their education, making these young victims feel indebted to Jeffrey Epstein," according to People.
Strauss said that they used this to keep the girls in the loop and "normalized" abuse in their lives. "After developing a rapport with the victims, Maxwell then tried to normalize sexual abuse with a minor victim through a process known as grooming," stated the acting U.S. Attorney.
He alleged that the socialite was involved in sexual conversations with the young girls. She also took part in sexual acts along with them and Epstein. "She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while she was setting them up to be sexually abused," added the attorney, according to People.
FBI Knew Of Allegations Against Ghislaine Maxwell As Early As 1996, Accuser Says. It Took 24 Years To Arrest Her https://t.co/Hz2M0swvnN— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 3, 2020
She stated that the sexual abuse often began with a sexualized text and later progressed into "a sexual encounter, where Maxwell was sometimes present and participated."
Apart from setting them up for the abuse, Maxwell is accused of helping Epstein transport the girls across the country from his homes in New York City, Palm Beach, Fla., and Santa Fe. They were even taken to England where some of the abuse happened at Maxwell's home in London.
Maxwell has previously denied these accusations. But no statement relating to the recent arrest was made by her lawyer, Jeffrey S. Pagliuca, according to People.
Maxwell was arrested from a 156-acre property in Bradford, New Hampshire, England, where she was hiding. The FBI said that the authorities were watching her every move and tracking her activities.
FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge Bill Sweeney said that the woman "had been discreetly keeping tabs on Maxwell's whereabouts, and recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago," according to People.
Former Jeffrey Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell is in federal custody after her arrest by the FBI in New Hampshirehttps://t.co/LxjTljbNL9— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) July 2, 2020
For the past one year, the woman has been fleeing from the eyes of the authorities by switching her location constantly. She changed her email address and even got herself a new number under the name, “G Max.” Besides, she got her packages delivered under a different name.
Sweeney also took the opportunity to appreciate the strength shown by the victims to stand firm and battle for justice. "They persevered against the rich and connected, and they did so without a badge, a gun or a subpoena, and they stood together."