British social journalist Ghislaine Maxwell denies the sexual offenses she is accused of. He replied in court that he was innocent of the six charges against him.
Maxwell, 58, is a suspect in a criminal investigation into the late businessman Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell's accusations relate, for example, to suspected solicitation and sexual exploitation of underage girls in 1994-1997.
Maxwell was heard for the first time today in court in New York in connection with the investigation.
He appeared in court via video link. He has been held at the High Security Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York since his arrest.
Maxwell was arrested by the U.S. Central Criminal Police (FBI) less than two weeks ago.
Maxwell is suspected of recruiting young girls
Prosecutors said Maxwell would have met the underage girls, lured them into Epstein's company, and persuaded them to rub Epstein naked.
Prosecutors report that Maxwell was sometimes involved in suspected sexual abuse, which occurred at Maxwell’s London home as well as Epstein’s apartments in Manhattan, New York, Palm Beach, Florida, and New Mexico.
Maxwell is said to have befriended the girls and attracted them on shopping trips as well as cinema visits. Prosecutors said Maxwell would also have lured and forced underage victims to travel across state borders and even abroad for alleged sexual offenses.
Four of the charges relate to alleged sexual offenses. In addition to these, Maxwell has been charged with perjury. He is believed to have lied in connection with the civil lawsuit in 2016.
Also associated with the prince in the scandal
The social circle has also been linked to British Prince Andrew, who has been ravaged by the Epstein-related scandal. Maxwell has been publicly accused of involvement in persuading a minor to have sex with Prince Andrew in 2001.
Andrew is the second eldest son of Queen Elizabeth. Andrew has denied that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl acquired by Epstein. However, pictures of the prince have been found in which he hugs the girl at the waist.
Ghislaine Maxwell is known, among others, as the daughter of the late media emperor Robert Maxwell and as Epstein's former girlfriend.
Maxwell has previously denied involvement in Epstein's suspected crimes. He has also said he was completely unaware of them.
Maxwell can face up to 35 years in prison.
Jeffrey Epstein died in his prison cell in New York last August while he awaited the trial. The death of 66-year-old Epstein is considered suicide.