Epstein Associate Seeks to Prevent Release of Explicit Photographs

Ghislaine Maxwell: lawyers ask judge to stop accusers from posting evidence online

She also accused Maxwell and Epstein of directing her, between 2000 to 2002, to have sex with a number of their prominent associates, most famously Britain's Prince Andrew.

A USA judge on Wednesday denied Ghislaine Maxwell's last-ditch effort to keep a potentially damaging deposition from becoming public, as the jailed British socialite defends herself against criminal charges that she aided the late financier Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of girls.

Ms Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to charges that she procured the girls, including one as young as 14, for Epstein to abuse in London and the United States in the 1990s.

The letter suggested - without direct evidence - that sealed portions from Maxwell's depositions in the case were leaked to the government, who then charged her with two counts of perjury for alleged false statements in her testimony.

Maxwell attorney Ty Gee wrote prosecutors should not have had access to the deposition, which remains under seal through a protective order.

"The victims of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein have suffered enough", prosecutors said, urging privacy for accusers except for anyone who acknowledges publicly they are part of the criminal case against Ms. Maxwell. The judge said the sworn testimony Maxwell gave in 2016, as well as the account of an alleged victim identified only as "Doe 1", could be unsealed August 3. She sued Maxwell for calling her account "obvious lies".

Rossmiller continued: 'Permitting defense counsel to publicly identify witnesses who have not identified themselves on the record in this case risks subjecting witnesses to harassment and intimidation, with no conceivable benefit to the defense other than perhaps discouraging witnesses from cooperating with the Government'.

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Preska, who inherited the case following the death of the original trial court judge Robert Sweet, eventually settled on initiating the process to review the documents in stages.

"The unsealing of Ms. Maxwell's deposition transcript would result in substantial negative media publicity and speculation in an internet world", Gee wrote.

Defence lawyers said on Monday that banning them from publicly identifying alleged victims or potential witnesses in the case will hinder their ability to investigate, prepare witnesses for trial and advocate on Maxwell's behalf.

The testimony in the civil case - which was ordered sealed by a judge under a settlement agreement - should never have been given to prosecutors, Maxwell's lawyers argued.

But Judge Loretta Preska says the public interest in the documents "far outweighed" the possible "embarrassment".

Another group of documents set to be partially unsealed concern an effort by Giuffre's lawyers to get court approval to take additional witness depositions and an extension of time in order to complete them.

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