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Jeffrey Epstein ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell charged in US

  • Jeffrey Epstein ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell charged in US
    British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has been charged in the US after being arrested by the FBI. Jeffrey Epstein ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell charged in US
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British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has been charged in the US after being arrested by the FBI.

She is accused of assisting Epstein's abuse of minors by helping to recruit and groom victims known to be underage.

After being arrested in New Hampshire, she was brought to court and remanded in custody, for transfer to New York.

Ms Maxwell, 58, has previously denied any involvement in or knowledge of Epstein's alleged sexual misconduct.

Epstein died in prison on 10 August as he awaited, without the chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges.

He was arrested last year in New York following allegations that he was running a network of underage girls - some as young as 14 - for sex. His death was determined to be suicide.

Prosecutors allege that between 1994 and 1997 Ms Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14.

The charges say she would build a rapport with them - including by taking them shopping or to the movies - and would later coax them into giving Epstein massages during which they were sexually abused.

"Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein to identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse," said Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the southern district of New York.

Five of the six charges brought against her each carry a sentence of five years with the sixth - transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity - punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Four of the charges relate to the years 1994-97 when Ms Maxwell was, according to the indictment, among Epstein's closest associates and also in an "intimate relationship" with him. The other two charges are allegations of perjury in 2016.