UPDATE: Maxwell denied bail on Epstein-related sex abuse charges

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UPDATE: Maxwell denied bail on Epstein-related sex abuse charges

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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NEW YORK, United States (AP)— Jeffrey Epstein's former girlfriend will remain behind bars until trial after she was today denied bail as a risk to flee rather than face charges she recruited girls for the financier to sexually abuse more than two decades ago.

Two Epstein accusers implored the judge to keep British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell detained after she pleaded not guilty to the charges during a video court hearing in Manhattan.

US District Judge Alison J Nathan said even the most restrictive form of release would be insufficient to ensure Maxwell would not flee, particularly now that she has seen the strength of the evidence and realises that she could face up to 35 years in prison if she is convicted.

As the judge explained her reasoning for denying bail, Maxwell dropped her head repeatedly, appearing dejected. At one point, she appeared to wipe a tear from underneath one eye.

Maxwell, 58, has been held without bail since her July 2 arrest at her million-dollar New Hampshire estate, where prosecutors say she refused to open the door for FBI agents, who busted through to find that she had retreated to an interior room. Her lawyer, Mark S Cohen, told the judge that Maxwell was in her pajamas and had been told that security protocol called for her to retreat to her room if there was any disturbance outside her doors.

Maxwell was charged with recruiting at least three girls, one as young as 14, for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 1997.

Maxwell's lawyers pushed to have her released on US$5 million bail. They said she "vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence."

The judge set a trial date for July 2021.

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