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Prosecutors in Ghislaine Maxwell case seek to keep evidence secret, cite ongoing probe

Prosecutors said the “sensitive” evidence they seek to withhold from Maxwell’s lawyers includes 40 records and 40 photographs of alleged sex abuse victims.
Image: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in New York City in 2005.Joe Schildhorn / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images file

Federal prosecutors in the case of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell asked a judge to allow them to hold off on handing over evidence that includes “school photographs” of alleged sex abuse victims because of the ongoing investigation.

The court documents filed Wednesday indicate that not only is the investigation in Epstein’s sexual trafficking continuing but federal prosecutors believe disclosing the evidence could interfere with it.

Prosecutors said the “sensitive” evidence they seek to withhold from Maxwell’s lawyers includes 40 documents and 40 photographs of victims who were allegedly abused by Epstein after 1997.

The court filings say the documents include identifying information for victims who are not expected to testify and their disclosure would “tend to reveal to [Maxwell] the scope of and evidence gathered” in the ongoing investigation, “the details of which are not currently public.”

Prosecutor Maurene Comey says in the filings she wants to withhold the evidence from Maxwell’s attorneys until eight weeks before a trial.

Maxwell’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Maxwell was arrested July 2 and charged in a six-count indictment alleging that she enticed minors, some as young as 14, to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein in the mid-1990s.

Prosecutors say Maxwell played a key role in Epstein’s abuse of underage girls, helping to groom the victims and encouraging them to accept his offers of financial assistance. She also participated in some of the abuse herself, the indictment says, and lied under oath during civil litigation.

She has pleaded not guilty.

Maxwell is locked up at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, just across the river from the federal prison in Manhattan where Epstein died by suicide in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.