Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges brought earlier this month alleging that she conspired with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse underage girls. A federal judge scheduled Maxwell's trial to begin July 12, 2021.
The big picture: Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss urged the judge to deny Maxwell bail, calling her an "extreme flight risk" whose wealth and lack of ties to the U.S. give her few reasons not to attempt to flee the country.
- The hearing on Tuesday took place exactly one year since federal judge denied Epstein bail after he was charged with sex crimes. Epstein was found hanged in his cell in an apparent suicide shortly after.
- Maxwell's counsel expressed concern that time in prison could put the British socialite at risk of contracting the coronavirus, per Courthouse News.
What to watch: Maxwell is facing six charges that could amount to up to 35 years in prison. She is likely to be pitted against many of the same victims and witnesses Epstein would have faced, had he ever made it to trial.
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