Ghislaine Maxwell is now scheduled to face two criminal trials in Manhattan federal court, after a judge ruled Friday to separate the perjury against her from her sexual-misconduct case.
Judge Alison Nathan said in an order that if the perjury charges against Maxwell were tried alongside her sexual-abuse allegations, it “would risk an unfair trial on each set of counts.”
The perjury charges would bring, “unrelated allegations of sexual abuse, which would
potentially expose the jury to evidence that might otherwise not be admissible,” Nathan wrote in her order.
Maxwell is accused of procuring underage girls to be abused by multimillionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in the 1990s and early 2000s.
In the indictment against her, federal prosecutors also charged her with lying under oath in a civil-suit deposition unrelated to the sexual-abuse charges.
The deposition dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct but not those charged by prosecutors.
A jury which is asked to weigh all of those factors together may conflate the evidence against the defendant, Judge Nathan said.
“A joint trial would potentially expose the jury to a wider swath of information regarding civil litigation against Epstein that is remote from Maxwell’s charged conduct,” Nathan’s order states.
“This presents a significant risk that the jury will cumulate the evidence of the various crimes charged and find guilt when, if considered separately, it would not do so,” it adds.
Maxwell is being held without bail in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn and has maintained she is innocent of all charges.
Epstein committed suicide in his Manhattan jail cell in August 2020, authorities have said.