Ghislaine Maxwell Pleads Not Guilty In Jeffrey Epstein Sex Abuse Case

Maxwell's lawyers say she's being unfairly prosecuted because her friend Jeffrey Epstein is dead and cannot stand trial.

Ghislaine Maxwell Pleads Not Guilty In Jeffrey Epstein Sex Abuse Case
Chris Ison / PA / AP

Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty in a video hearing in Manhattan Tuesday and was denied bail. She's accused of recruiting at least three girls for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse. 

Epstein died last August while awaiting trial in what authorities said was a suicide.

The longtime associate and ex-girlfriend of Epstein is being held in a federal lockup in Brooklyn after she was arrested in New Hampshire on July 2 on charges she helped Epstein sexually abuse girls as young as 14. Maxwell is facing up to 35 years in prison if convicted. She has denied wrongdoing. 

Maxwell's lawyers argue she is being used as a substitute for Epstein after his death, even though she hasn't had any contact with Epstein for more than a decade and has no criminal record. 

Her legal team requested bail, citing reports of coronavirus spreading through jails. Their proposed bail package included releasing Maxwell under house arrest on a $5 million bond. She'd be placed under GPS monitoring and "stringent" travel restrictions.

But federal prosecutors oppose this request, saying Maxwell, the daughter of a one-time British media mogul, has considerable wealth that gives her a means to flee the country. They noted that Maxwell is a citizen of the U.S., the U.K. and France, the latter of which does not extradite its citizens. They also said that she "appears to be skilled at living in hiding," citing how she had wrapped a phone in tin foil in an attempt to avoid being detected by law enforcement. 

Contains footage from CNN.