July 8, 2020 / 1:36 AM / a month ago

Ghislaine Maxwell's arraignment for luring underage girls scheduled for next week

FILE PHOTO: Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York speaks alongside William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office, at a news conference announcing charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein in New York City, New York, U.S., July 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein, will be arraigned on July 14 on charges of luring underage girls so that the financier, now dead, could abuse them, according to a court order issued Tuesday evening.

Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan federal court said a bail hearing would be held at 1 pm EST that day via video conference.

Maxwell, 58, arrived at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn on Monday. She was arrested on July 2 at a mansion in New Hampshire, where investigators said she had been lying low.

Prosecutors said Maxwell groomed girls so Epstein abuse them at lavish homes in Palm Beach, Florida; New Mexico and Manhattan.

Epstein was awaiting trial on federal charges of trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005 when he was found hanged in a federal facility in Manhattan in August. Medical examiners concluded his death was a suicide.

Nathan said on Tuesday that to optimize video quality, only the judge, Maxwell, her lawyer and a prosecutor would appear on video at the hearing. The judge said others could access audio of the hearing by telephone.

Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison.

Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Gerry Doyle

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