Ghislaine Maxwell asked a judge to drop charges against her, arguing the grand jury pool didn't have enough Black or Hispanic people

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Jacob Shamsian
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
ghislaine maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell in 2015. Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
  • Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers made an attempt to have the charges against her dismissed.

  • They argued the grand jury pool wasn't diverse enough, that some of the charges were too vague or violated double jeopardy protections, and that some should take place in a separate trial.

  • The Jeffrey Epstein associate is scheduled to stand trial in July.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ghislaine Maxwell made an audacious big to convince a judge to drop the charges against her Monday night. Her lawyers argued in court filings that the grand jury that indicted her came from a pool of jurors that wasn't diverse enough because they were from the New York suburb of White Plains rather than Manhattan.

"The government procured Ms. Maxwell's indictment using a grand jury pool that excluded residents of the community in which Ms. Maxwell allegedly committed the offenses with which she is charged, and in which she will be tried, in favor of a grand jury drawn from a community in which Black and Hispanic residents are significantly underrepresented by comparison," Maxwell's attorneys wrote in filings reviewed by Insider.

Maxwell faces six charges brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. The indictments say she illegally trafficked young girls, groomed them for sexual abuse with the now-dead disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, participated in sexual abuse herself, and then lied about her activities in a deposition.

Read more: Inside the life of Ghislaine Maxwell's secret husband, a once-high-flying tech entrepreneur backed by Eric Schmidt who is now a central figure in one of the country's most high-profile legal cases

She was arrested in July and has since then participated in a drawn-out court battle ahead of her trial, scheduled for July of this year.

Her attorneys have previously clashed with prosecutors over three separate, failed bids to have her released on bail. They've also fought over how much access she should have to her laptop, which she's using to review evidence for her trial, while detained in Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center. (The Bureau of Prisons said in a Monday afternoon court filing that Maxwell had too much laptop access and moved to restrict it.)

In the latest round of filings, Maxwell's attorneys say the charges should be dropped against her altogether.

While prosecutors chose jurors from a grand jury in White Plains due to Manhattan's COVID-19 restrictions, Maxwell's attorneys say the relatively white jury "violated Ms. Maxwell's Sixth Amendment right to be indicted by a grand jury drawn from a faircross section of the community."

Maxwell's lawyers made other attempts to end or diminish the case

The attorneys also ask to dismiss the charges on other grounds. Emphasizing that the charges have been brought based on actions Maxwell allegedly took in the 1990s, they say that some of the facts underpinning them are too hazy to stand.

They also argue that they may violate the cushy non-prosecution agreement that federal prosecutors in Florida signed with Epstein, which allowed Epstein to plead guilty in 2008 to just one charge of soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution in Florida and serve just a 13-month sentence on a work-release program. Epstein's own lawyers unsuccessfully argued that the agreement should have shielded him from the charges brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan before his suicide.

Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link in Manhattan Federal Court, in New York City on July 14, 2020. Reuters/Jane Rosenberg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

If Judge Alison Nathan doesn't dismiss all the charges against Maxwell, her lawyers ask that one of them be dismissed. They say that two counts - "enticing minors to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity" and "transporting minors with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity" - are essentially the same thing and that including both charges violates the Constitution's double jeopardy clause.

They also argue that the charges Maxwell faces for perjury should take place in a separate trial. Maxwell allegedly lied about her history with Epstein in a deposition for a separate defamation lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who's accused Maxwell, Epstein, and others of sexual abuse. Since two of Maxwell's attorneys in her criminal defense - presumably Jeffrey Pagliuca and Laura Menninger - also represent her in her civil lawsuit with Giuffre, it could cause unsolvable conflict issues and would be best handled in a separate case entirely, her lawyers argue.

"The Court and the jury and the Court will have to resolve numerous complex legal and factual issues in connection with the perjury charges that will lengthen and complicate the trial, raise a substantial risk of juror confusion, and may operate to deprive Ms. Maxwell of her counsel of choice," Maxwell's lawyers wrote.

In an order Tuesday, Nathan said Maxwell's lawyers have made several additional filings under seal, which prosecutors may ask to unseal later this week.

Read the original article on Insider