US prosecutors filed two new charges in their sex crimes case against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell Monday, adding a new victim and extending the time frame of her alleged offenses.

Federal attorneys filed a superseding indictment in a New York court adding counts of sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor, bringing the number of charges Maxwell faces to eight.

The indictment includes a new accuser, referred to as “Minor Victim-4,” and expands by seven years the period of time that Maxwell is accused of aiding the sexual abuse of underage girls by her former partner Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell, 59, is now accused of offenses between 1994 and 2004 after initially being charged with alleged sex crimes committed between 1994 and 1997.

The counts are stronger than the earlier charges which refer to “enticement” and “transportation” of minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Maxwell also faces two counts of perjury relating to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed against her by long-time Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.

The daughter of late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell denies that she recruited girls for Epstein, the disgraced US financier who killed himself in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial.

She was denied bail for a third time earlier this month and remains in prison in Brooklyn awaiting a trial due to start this summer.

In the new indictment, prosecutors with the Southern District of New York allege that Maxwell met Minor Victim-4 at Epstein’s Palm Beach residence in 2001 when the latter was approximately 14 years old.

She then “groomed Minor Victim-4 to engage in sexual acts with Epstein through multiple means,” according to the court documents.

Prosecutors allege that Maxwell also encouraged the victim “to recruit other young females to provide sexualised massages to Epstein.”

The girl ultimately brought “multiple females” including girls under the age of 18, the filing says.

Maxwell faces an effective life sentence if convicted. Her trial is due to start in July but is likely to be delayed because of the pandemic and the new indictment.

Source: theguardian.com

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