Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorney says that since Bill Cosby has been set free, his client should be too.
David Oscar Markus wrote in a New York Daily News op-ed that Maxwell, awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, should be covered under the non-prosecution deal convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein secured with federal prosecutors in 2007: He agreed to plead guilty to state charges, and the US Attorney’s Office wouldn’t prosecute him or his co-conspirators.
Cosby was freed when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an agreement he made in 2005 with then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor Jr also applied to current DA Risa Vetri Ferman in 2015, even though the deal was verbal only and never written down. Cosby had agreed to testify in victim Andrea Constand’s civil suit against him, and Castor agreed not to prosecute him, as CrimeOnline reported.
Markus wrote that the same principle applies to Maxwell, who, as Epstein’s pimp, was one of his co-conspirators.
“Maxwell is accused of being one of Epstein’s co-conspirators from 25 years ago,” he wrote. “She has declared her innocence and is set to fight the case at trial in November. But she should not have to fight her case at trial and her case should be thrown out, just like Cosby’s has been, because prosecutors promised Epstein when he pleaded guilty that they would not prosecute her.”
Legal experts aren’t so sure, pointing out that Epstein made his deal with a federal prosecutor in Florida — Alex Acosta, who went on to become then-President Donald Trump’s labor secretary — and Maxwell has been charged in New York. Marcus argued that shouldn’t matter because both work for the US Department of Justice, but Paul Cassell, a former federal judge who is now a law professor at the University of Utah, told Insider that wasn’t necessarily so.
“It’s a standard feature of American criminal justice,” he said. “Prosecutors can extend immunity only within the territory they have jurisdiction over.”
There was no indication that Markus would make a filing based on the Cosby outcome. Instead, he wrote that the jury that should reject the “flimsy and stale charges” against her, and if they don’t, then “she should get relief on appeal for the same reason Cosby did.”
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[Featured image: Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein, July 2, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)]