Ghislaine Maxwell on September 20, 2013 in New York City.
Laura Cavanaugh | Getty Images
A judge Monday ruled that prosecutors can refer to accusers of Ghislaine Maxwell as “victims” at the British socialite’s upcoming trial in New York on charges of procuring underage girls to be sexually abused by mysterious money man Jeffrey Epstein.
Manhattan federal court Judge Alison Nathan, citing the need to protect Maxwell’s accusers from embarrassment, also ruled during a hearing that those women can have their identities kept anonymous during the trial.
Maxwell’s lawyers had wanted prosecutors barred from using the word “victim” and “minor” to describe the accusers, and also had wanted them identified during the trial with their real names.
Defense lawyers also lost their bid to be allowed to suggest at trial that prosecutors only filed charges against Maxwell because of press coverage about Epstein and his alleged misdeeds with her.
Also Monday, prosecutors said they had not made any plea offer to Maxwell, such as one in which she would admit guilt to some criminal conduct in exchange for an agreement that prosecutors would seek a less severe punishment than she might get if she were to be convicted at trial.
Prosecutors also said Maxwell likewise had not asked for a plea deal.
“I have not committed any crime,” Maxwell, 59, said to Nathan as she confirmed that revelation at the hearing, which dealt with a raft of issues in advance of her trial, due to begin with opening arguments on Nov. 29.
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