Ghislaine Maxwell, a former girlfriend and longtime confidante of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested by federal authorities on sexual abuse charges involving underage girls, according to officials.
“Beginning in at least 1994,” a federal indictment filed in New York alleges, Maxwell “enticed and groomed multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Jeffrey Epstein, through a variety of means and methods.”
The six-count indictment in Manhattan federal court alleges that Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14. "In some instances, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims," the indictment said.
Maxwell, the daughter of late British media mogul Robert Maxwell, would befriend female minors, according to the indictment, and "having developed a rapport with a victim, Maxwell would try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein.”
She had been under investigation by federal agents for months as an alleged conspirator with Epstein.
He was a registered sex offender and was arrested in 2019 last year on federal sex trafficking charges for allegedly abusing girls in Florida and New York.
Epstein, 66, killed himself in a New York federal detention center in Manhattan. Two of his guards were later charged with failing to perform security checks on his cell in the hours before he was found hanging from a bed sheet.
The wealthy financier hobnobbed with the rich and famous and had connections to Britain's Prince Andrew, President Trump and former president Bill Clinton.
New York’s acting U.S. Attorney, Audrey Strauss, declined to say whether the royal was part of the ongoing investigation into Epstein’s associates.
“We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us. We would like to have the benefit of his statement,” Strauss said at a press briefing Thursday. “Our doors remain open and we would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement,” she said.
Maxwell is expected to appear in federal court on Thursday.