Federal prosecutors on Monday expanded the criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s long time confidant, charging her for the first time with sex trafficking.
The new eight-count indictment accuses Maxwell of grooming and paying a 14-year-old girl to engage in sex acts with Epstein at his home in Palm Beach, Florida, from 2001 to 2004.
Maxwell was already facing six counts tied to Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking network. The new charges are a significant escalation.
Prosecutors had accused Maxwell of facilitating the abuse of three young girls in the mid-1990s. The new indictment adds a fourth alleged victim and accuses Maxwell of enabling Epstein’s abuse into the mid-2000s.
The indictment says Maxwell and others called up the victim to schedule the encounters and paid her hundreds of dollars in cash after each visit.
Maxwell “sought to normalize inappropriate and abusive conduct by, among other things, discussing sexual topics in front of [the victim] and being present when [the victim] was nude in the massage room of the Palm Beach residence” of Epstein, the indictment says.