As the Ghislaine Maxwell case drags on past the announcement of her guilty verdict, the U.S. government prosecutors have offered to dismiss two charges against her.
The charges they are willing to dismiss are both for perjury. Prosecutors said they will only dismiss these two charges if Maxwell’s conviction for recruiting and grooming minors for financier Jeffery Epstein to sexually abuse stands, as NBC News reported.
The two charges in question center around allegations that Maxwell lied in depositions from 2016 about what she knew concerning Epstein’s behavior.
Since the perjury charges came from depositions in a separate 2016 civil suit, District Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over Maxwell’s trial, decided last spring that they would be tried in a separate trial.
Each charge carries a maximum of a five-year prison sentence, according to Reuters.
At the end of December, Maxwell was found guilty on five out of six sex trafficking-related charges, as CBS News reported.
But Maxwell’s attorneys sought a retrial after two jury members revealed that they had experienced sexual abuse in their pasts, which Maxwell’s defense attorneys argued could have clouded their judgment in announcing a verdict, as The New York Times reported.
In a letter to Nathan, prosecutors said that dismissing the perjury counts would reflect Maxwell’s “significant interests in bringing closure to this matter and avoiding the trauma of testifying again,” Reuters reported.
However, Maxwell’s attorneys opposed the idea of setting a timeline since the jurors’ post-conviction revelations about their own sexual abuse was a “compelling basis” to overturn the conviction and grant a new trial.
Maxwell’s lawyers said she planned to request a retrial under a federal rule that allows judges to grant a new trial if the “interest of justice so requires,” the Times reported.
The jurors’ disclosures “influenced the deliberations and convinced other members of the jury to convict Ms. Maxwell,” her lawyers argued, according to Reuters.
“The defense therefore objects to setting a schedule for sentencing until this motion is resolved,” they said, NBC reported.
Currently, after the conviction, the 60-year-old Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison.
Nathan has given more time to both of Maxwell’s lawyers to present their reasons for a retrial. The attorneys have until Jan. 19 to present their case as to why the conviction should be overturned.
Prosecutors then have until Feb. 2 to respond.
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