Ghislaine Maxwell, former companion of Jeffery Epstein, arrested - what you need to know

03 July 2020 - 14:16 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Women protested outside a New York court when Jeffrey Epstein appeared on charges of sex trafficking.
Women protested outside a New York court when Jeffrey Epstein appeared on charges of sex trafficking.
Image: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images/AFP

Ghislaine Maxwell, former companion of US financier Jeffery Epstein, was arrested and charged by the FBI in the US on Thursday.

Epstein, a convicted paedophile, died in August last year.

Here's what you need to know:

Charges 

CNN reported that Maxwell is alleged to have had a role in recruiting girls as young as 14  to travel and have sex with Epstein between 1994 and 1997. Both Epstein and Maxwell were aware the girls were younger than 18 years.

She is charged with six criminal counts, including enticement and conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in illegal sex acts.

The victims were reportedly transported to a number of properties owned by Epstein, including his Palm Beach estate.

Hiding in various locations

During a press briefing on Thursday, authorities said Maxwell, who has repeatedly denied her involvement in recruiting the girls, had “slithered away” into hiding.

According to The Guardian, Maxwell's whereabouts were unknown since the arrest of Epstein in July last year.

She was arrested in Bradford, New Hampshire, at 8.30am on Thursday. 

William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the New York FBI office, said authorities were keeping tabs on Maxwell's whereabouts. Before her arrest, police were informed she continued to live a life of privilege at a “gorgeous” property at which she was arrested.

Background

Last year, TimesLIVE reported that multimillionaire Epstein had strong ties with celebrities and influential people, including US president Donald Trump, Britain's Prince Andrew and former US president Bill Clinton. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to two counts of soliciting prostitution from a minor.

Epstein was later sentenced to 18 months in prison, but was released after 13 months.

Last year he was arrested and charged with child sex trafficking.

Maxwell was implicated by one of Epstein's alleged victims, South African born Sarah Ransome, who accused her of enabling his abusive behaviour. She said she met Epstein when she was 22 in 2006.

She alleged she was raped by Epstein during her first visit at his island home.

More victims recently testified against Epstein in the documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich.


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