Photo Credit: Ghislaine Maxwell – I. Maxwell, CC BY-SA 4.0

Ghislaine Maxwell is a British socialite, one time girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein and confidant who one facilitated trafficking in girls that were minors to properties of his across the country to have sex with him. “Jeffrey Epstein did not and could not have acted alone,” attorney David Boies who represents a number of Epstein’s victims said in a written statement. Since his death, the woman whose involvement in Epstein’s criminal enterprise took place between 1994 and 1997 has been hiding in a luxury property in New Hampshire living a life of a privilege while both her and Epstein’s victims still suffer trauma from their actions.

Among the charges Maxwell is facing are enticement and conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and two counts of perjury according to a federal indictment unsealed today. During a news conference today, prosecutors said she enticed young girls to travel to his homes and “pretended to be a woman they could trust, all the while she was setting them up to be sexually abused by Epstein.” An FBI official said she would “recruit, entice, groom, and abuse” victims under the age of 18. Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss has also said that she “we will be seeking detention.”

A connection that has not been forgotten is that Epstein was friends with Prince Andrew. Federal prosecutors said they “would welcome Prince Andrew coming in” to speak with them for “the benefit of his statement,” Audrey Strauss, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York stated during the press conference today. “Our doors remain open, as we have previously said, and we would welcome his coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement,” she said. A spokesperson for the palace has declined comment saying, “This is not something for us to comment on.”

FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney has said bureau officials “have been discreetly keeping tabs” on Maxwell who had “slithered away to a gorgeous property” in New Hampshire. “We learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a live a life of privilege while her victims continue to live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago. We moved when we were ready and Ms. Maxwell was arrested without incident,” he said.

Victims of Epstein and Maxwell have spoken out today since her arrest today. One such victim, Jennifer Araoz said Maxwell’s arrest “means some justice for survivors can exist.” She went on to say in an emailed statement, “For years, I feared Epstein and his ring. Maxwell was the center of that sex trafficking ring.”

“Now that the ring has been taken down, I know that I can’t be hurt anymore. Day after day, I have waited for the news that Maxwell would be arrested and held accountable for her actions. Her arrest is a step in that direction, and it truly means that the justice system didn’t forget about us.”

Gloria Allred, who represents 16 of Epsteins victims said, “we do hope that finally, she will be accountable” for her alleged role in Epstein’s crimes. “To date, there has been no justice for them in the criminal justice system,” Allred said of the accusers. “A number of them were sex trafficked to Jeffrey Epstein when they were minors. They are still suffering the impact of their victimization today.”

“Our clients are very pleased, and very grateful, to the prosecutors, that this important step has been taken towards bringing Jeffrey Epstein’s co-conspirators to justice.”

Attorney Lisa Bloom represents victims of his as well who said, Maxwell’s “brutal, ruthless behavior” caused her client great pain. “We applaud her long overdue arrest today,” Bloom said in a written statement. “All others accused of enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s predations must immediately be brought to justice as well.”

We will be reporting on any updates on this case that took almost a full year for Maxwell’s arrest since Epstein’s death in August 2019.