Accused sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell has lost a bid to have her case dropped, after her lawyers argued she should be released from prison because - like Bill Cosby - she was covered by a 2007 immunity deal struck by dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein with federal prosecutors in Florida.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said she was not bound by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's June 30 decision to free Cosby, and that Maxwell had not been promised she would not be prosecuted, as the Pennsylvania court said Cosby had.
Nathan also rejected Maxwell's arguments that prosecutors waited too long to charge her with sex trafficking between 2001 and 2004, saying Congress's 2006 elimination of the statute of limitations applied retroactively. -Reuters
Maxwell, 59, is currently sitting in a Brooklyn jail pending trial, and could face up to 80 years in prison if convicted. She has pleaded not guilty to eight counts involving allegations that she found and groomed underage girls for Epstein and his associates to sexually abuse between 1994-2004.
The trial could begin as early as November.
Cosby was freed from prison after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that he was covered by a 2005 agreement not to charge him with drugging and assaulting an accuser who eventually ended up with a $3.36 million settlement stemming from a civil lawsuit.
Maxwell testified in a since-settled $50 million civil lawsuit filed by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre, however judge Nathan said the cases aren't the same - writing that Cosby's case "focused on whether prosecutors were required to honor a promise that the court found to be clear in the absence of a formal plea agreement."
"Even if this Court agreed with the analysis in [Cosby's case], that opinion sheds no light on the proper interpretation of the NPA in this case."
On Monday, Guiffre filed a separate civil suit against Prince Andrew, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.