Ghislaine Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, claims that her prosecution on charges of sex abuse is occurring because she is a “substitute” for Epstein after his death, according to ABC News.
Lawyers for Maxwell believe, as stated in Manhattan federal court documents, that in the case brought last July, which could potentially put Maxwell in prison for life, “the government has sought to substitute our client for Jeffrey Epstein, even if it means stretching — and ultimately exceeding — the bounds of the law,” according to ABC News.
The lawyers further stated that “The government’s sudden zeal to prosecute Ms. Maxwell for alleged conduct with Epstein in the 1990s — conduct for which the government never even charged Epstein — follows a history that is both highly unusual and deeply troubling,” according to ABC News.
The government, the lawyers alleged, was embarrassed after Epstein died in what then-Attorney General William Barr called “a perfect storm of screw-ups,” providing an additional urge for prosecutors to go after Maxwell, according to ABC News.
Ghislaine Maxwell blames Jeffrey Epstein’s death for her arrest https://t.co/56D7VmNPOR pic.twitter.com/VCwivwU0qj
— New York Post Metro (@nypmetro) February 5, 2021
Maxwell is scheduled for a July trial on charges of recruiting three teenage girls from 1994 to 1997 to be sexually abused by Epstein with prosecutors further alleging that Maxwell occasionally joined in, according to ABC News.
A judge had rejected a $28.5 million bail proposal, where it was disclosed that Maxwell had set aside $7 million for legal expenses out of the $22.5 million belonging to her and her husband, citing a flight risk along with a lack of full financial transparency, according to ABC News.
The lawyers also claim that the previous non-prosecution agreement Epstein had signed with Florida prosecutors, where he pleaded to a state charge and spent 13 months in prison, applied to alleged co-conspirators like Maxwell, according to ABC News,
“The government is bound by the agreement it negotiated and executed,” the lawyers wrote, describing the wording of the document as “clear, explicit, and unambiguous,” according to ABC News.
Describing Maxwell as “baselessly caricatured as a villain of near-mythical proportions,” her lawyers said “the government’s response to the media frenzy was not to adhere to its earlier objective analysis and consideration of the facts, but to feed the frenzy and substitute Ms. Maxwell for Epstein,” according to ABC News. (RELATED: Ghislaine Maxwell Denied Knowing Epstein Had Underage Girls In His Home)