Ghislaine Maxwell: Prosecutors say criminal investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and his friends continues

Federal prosecutors closed off another avenue Friday for accused child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell to block release of more documents from Virginia Giuffre’s now settled defamation lawsuit against her, saying in a court filing that they wanted information Maxwell sought to remain under a protective order, the Miami Herald reported.

“As the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has stated publicly, the investigation into the conduct of the defendant in this case and other possible co-conspirators of Jeffrey Epstein remains active,” prosecutors wrote in the filing. “The full scope and details of that investigation, however, have not been made public.”

US District Court Judge Loretta Preska, who is overseeing the release of documents from the civil lawsuit, denied Maxwell’s request for a three-week delay in the document release to review “critical new information” that is currently sealed by a protective order covering the criminal investigation that landed Maxwell in jail, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

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Preska said that if that protective order were to be lifted, Maxwell could again ask for a stay. The prosecutors’ filing on Friday would appear to preclude that happening.

Maxwell is in jail after a grand jury brought a six-count criminal indictment against for procuring girls for billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and lying about it in court. Prosecutors used Maxwell’s deposition in the Giuffre case to bring the charges against her for perjury.

The prosecutors also revealed in their filing how they came to have a copy of Maxwell’s deposition, which her attorneys had accused Giuffre’s lawyers of leaking. Prosecutors said they applied for permission from two separate courts to allow someone who had received a copy of the deposition to turn it over to them. One court granted permission, and the other did not, they said.

“That is how grand jury subpoenas and investigations frequently work,” prosecutors wrote. “Defense counsel’s overheated rhetoric notwithstanding, there is simply nothing nefarious about the Government obtaining materials through grand jury subpoena process, let alone anything about the manner in which the Government obtained these materials that warrants the relief requested.”

The prosecutors also called it “grossly inappropriate to allow defense attorneys “to sift through the criminal case discovery and cherry-pick materials” they think may be helpful in their civil cases, the Herald said.

Maxwell is being held without bond; her criminal trial is expected to start next summer.

Her compatriot Epstein was arrested last summer on sex trafficking charges but was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent suicide shortly afterward.

Read more about Ghislaine Maxwell’s court case.

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[Featured image: Ghislaine Maxwell/Globe/MediaPunch/MediaPunch/IPx and Virginia Giuffre/Associated Press]