The FBI has arrested British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell on multiple charges related to the serial sexual abuse of girls and young women by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell, who was among Epstein's closest associates, faces a charge of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, according to a six-count grand jury indictment that was unsealed Thursday.
Maxwell, 58, was arrested the same day in New Hampshire, the press office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York tells NPR.
Epstein's victims have previously accused Maxwell of helping the disgraced financier run a sex-trafficking ring that victimized teenage girls.
Maxwell was taken into custody nearly a year after Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking minors and paying victims to recruit other underage girls.
Roughly a month after his arrest, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in Manhattan.
The indictment focuses on a yearslong period in the 1990s when, it says, Maxwell "was in an intimate relationship with Epstein and also was paid by Epstein to manage his various properties."
The alleged sexual abuses took place at many of those properties, from a home on Manhattan's Upper East Side to an estate in Palm Beach, Fla., a ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., and.Maxwell's home in London, according to the court document.
At least as early as 1994, Maxwell "enticed and groomed multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Jeffrey Epstein," the indictment states.
The document alleges a pattern of behavior, accusing Maxwell of taking girls shopping and to the movies, asking them about their families and their lives at school – and then attempting "to normalize sexual abuse." She sometimes did that, the indictment alleges, by undressing in front of the victims or involving them in "sexualized massages."
"Maxwell's presence during minor victims' interactions with Epstein, including interactions where the minor victim was undressed or that involved sex acts with Epstein, helped put the victims at ease because an adult woman was present," the indictment states.
Describing the count of perjury against Maxwell, the indictment includes a partial transcription of Maxwell's testimony during a deposition in 2016.
"Did Jeffrey Epstein have a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages? If you know." the questioner asked.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Maxwell replied.
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