FBI arrests Jeffrey Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell sex case

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Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.

Joe Schildhorn | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday morning arrested Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time friend and alleged procurer Ghislaine Maxwell, was charged with conspiring with Epstein to sexually abuse children, as well as perjury about her conduct, court files reveal.

The arrest of the British socialite Maxwell on charged laid out in a six-count indictment comes just days before the first anniversary of the wealthy investor Epstein’s own arrest in the case on child sex traffic charges.

Epstein, a 66-year-old convicted sex offender, killed himself in a federal jail in Manhattan last August after being denied bail.

The indictment against Maxwell, handed up by a federal grand jury in Manhattan, says that the charges against her stem from her role “in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein.”

“In particular, from at least in and about 1994,  up to an including in or about 1997, Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other tings, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abused victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18,” the indictment says.

“The victims were as young as 14 years old when they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein, both of whom knew that certain victims were in fact under the age of 18.”

NBC News, citing law-enforcement sources, said that Maxwell, who herself was a former girlfriend of Epstein, was arrested in Bedford, New Hampshire, at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. She is scheduled to appear in a federal court sometime Thursday.

Typically, a person charged in a federal criminal case is first presented in the federal district in which they were arrested, not necessarily in the district in which they are charged.

The indictment against Maxwell, handed up by a federal grand jury in Manhattan, says that the charges against her stem from her role “in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein.”

Epstein’s victims have called for the arrest of the daughter of the disgraced media mogul and swindler Robert Maxwell ever since Epstein was charged last July.

The FBI and a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The SDNY, which has scheduled a press conference on Maxwell’s arrest for noon ET Thursday in lower Manhattan.

Epstein was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as of Britain’s Prince Andrew.

He was arrested last year at a northern New Jersey airport after flying from France. An indictment accused him of sexully abusing dozens of underage girls from 2002 through 2005 at his luxurious residences on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and in Palm Beach, Florida.

– Additional reporting by CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger 

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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