Ghislaine Maxwell, an associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, on Thursday was charged and arrested by US Federal authorities. She is accused of helping lure at least three girls — one as young as 14 — to the late financier Epstein who had allegedly sexually exploited them, reported TOI. Maxwell reportedly helped Epstein “recruit, groom and then sexually abuse girls.”

Epstein – a convicted paedophile – was accused of abusing dozens of girls and women over many years. ​At 66, he committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial last year.

Now, Maxwell has been arrested in connection with Epstein’s sex trafficking operation, authorities announced, NBC News reported. She is the daughter of the late British publishing mogul Robert Maxwell. However, her association with New York billionaire Epstein put her in the spotlight during the controversy.

What You Should Know

  • ​Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested on charges ​of sex trafficking.
  • She is accused of having a connection with the sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.
  • Epstein was a convicted paedophile who abused dozens of girls, Maxwell is accused of luring girls and women to the offender.

According to the police, Maxwell, who was Epstein’s rumoured girlfriend and lived with him for years, was charged on “six counts for acts committed between 1994 and 1997 and then allegedly lying to investigators in 2016. Four counts are related to allegedly helping transport minors for sexual activity and two for perjury,” according to the criminal complaint. “Maxwell played a critical role in helping Epstein identify, befriend and groom minor victims for abuse,” Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss told reporters in Manhattan. “In some cases, Maxwell participated in the abuse herself.”

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​Many young women have come forward and accused Maxwell. In one lawsuit, a woman allegedly accused her as the “highest-ranking employee” of Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking enterprise, the TOI reported. The 58-year-old was arrested from her Bradford home in New Hampshire. “More recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago,” William Sweeney, head of the FBI’s New York office, told a news conference Thursday.

During a 2016 testimony, one of the key survivors in Epstein case, Virginia Giuffre had said that she was a teenager when Ghislaine Maxwell approached her near a locker room at Mar-a-Lago golf club and tried to lure her saying that someone looking for a personal ‘masseuse’.  “You’ll make good money,” she promised Giuffre. Later, when she met that ‘someone’, the situation turned troubling as the teen was ordered to “take off clothes and to give oral sex to Jeffrey Epstein”, a report by Evening Standard stated.

Another survivor, Jennifer Araoz, now 33, said that Epstein raped her when she was 15. “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,” she claimed.

Police have been investigating Maxwell since August last year.

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Feature Image Credit: Evening Standard

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