Things aren’t looking good for accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell. A federal appeals court denied her request to keep her 2016 deposition regarding Jeffrey Epstein sealed.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled on Monday that the public has a right to view the British socialite’s testimony that she gave in a defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre. The court’s order found that U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska did not overreach when she denied Maxwell’s “meritless arguments” that her concerns over privacy trump the public’s right to see the deposition.
The judge ruled in July that Maxwell’s testimony, along with hundreds of other documents pertaining to Giuffre’s lawsuit, would be made public. She argued that “any minor embarrassment” that the documents could cause is “far outweighed by the presumption of public access.”
The alleged Epstein accomplice’s attorneys argued that making the deposition public could hamper her chance to have a fair trial due to the “intimate, sensitive, and personal details” it contained. The lawyers stated that Maxwell believed the testimony to be confidential and that its release would violate her constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.
After Maxwell was arrested at her home in New Hampshire in July, she was charged with helping now-deceased billionaire Jeffrey Epstein build a sex trafficking operation involving underage girls. She pleaded not guilty to the charges. She is now being held in a Brooklyn jail.
Judge Preska ordered that Maxwell’s deposition transcripts should be released as soon as possible and gave lawyers an unspecified amount of time to make “minimal redactions” to conceal personally identifiable information such as names of nonparties.
In August, it was revealed that the investigation into Epstein’s sex trafficking ring is still active, according to federal prosecutors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York has frequently stated that the investigation into other alleged co-conspirators is ongoing.
In a letter addressed to the judge, they wrote, “as the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has stated publicly, the investigation into the conduct of the defendant in this case and other possible co-conspirators of Jeffrey Epstein remains active.”
Previously, Maxwell’s legal team requested that she be given better living conditions while being held without bail. Her trial is expected to begin in July of next year.
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