Jailed former socialite and alleged Jeffrey Epstein enabler Ghislaine Maxwell on Friday lost a motion to dismiss a collection of federal criminal charges contained within a second superseding indictment filed against her on March 29.
The second superseding indictment followed a first superseding indictment filed in July 2020. The first superseding indictment followed an even earlier June 2020 initial indictment. It is not uncommon for federal prosecutors to ratchet up the number or the severity of charges a defendant may face as investigations unfold or as a tactic to attempt to secure a plea agreement.
The second superseding indictment added a sex trafficking count and sex trafficking conspiracy count to the charges Maxwell already faced. Maxwell unsuccessfully fought the additional charges contained within the first superseding indictment and on Friday learned she was unsuccessful at battling the two additional charges added in the second superseding indictment.
“For appeal preservation purposes or otherwise, the arguments largely, though not entirely, rehash the positions rejected by the Court in its April 16, 2021 Opinion & Order,” Judge Alison J. Nathan wrote. “To the extent new arguments are made, they are addressed below. All pending motions are DENIED.”
In other words, the arguments Maxwell lost the first time around did not miraculously result in a win the second time around when lodged in the same or a similar fashion — even as to the new charges.
For instance, Maxwell argued that four of the counts contained within the newest charging document are barred by Epstein’s own nonprosecution agreement in Florida. Judge Nathan ruled previously — and reaffirmed — that the Epstein nonprosecution agreement “does not bind the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.” The judge spent a few lines addressing this point yet again for clarity (citations omitted):
As the Court explained in its April 16, 2021 Opinion & Order, the Second Circuit held in United States v. Annabi that “[a] plea agreement binds only the office of the United States Attorney for the district in which the plea is entered unless it affirmatively appears that the agreement contemplates a broader restriction.” The Second Circuit’s opinion in Annabi is clear, and that court has followed it steadfastly since. The Second Circuit has held that language nearly identical to that in Epstein’s NPA is not enough to overcome the presumption in favor of single-district plea agreements. Adhering to this binding authority, this Court thus concluded (and continues to conclude) that the NPA does not bind the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. It thus provides Maxwell no defense in this case even if it would otherwise cover the conduct charged in the new counts in the [second] superseding indictment.
Elsewhere, Maxwell sought to have two of the counts lodged against her tossed because she claimed they constituted double jeopardy.
“The Court concludes that Maxwell has not previously been put in jeopardy for these offenses and therefore her prosecution on these counts does not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause,” the judge responded.
The court dismissed Maxwell’s other attempted arguments as follows:
Maxwell moves to dismiss counts five and six as untimely. The Court again concludes, as it did in its April 16, 2021 Opinion & Order, that the Government brought the charges within the applicable statute of limitations.