Ghislaine Maxwell pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges as it emerged that she posed as a journalist while in hiding.
Her attorney, Mark Cohen, also phoned in for the case.
Today, Judge Alison Nathan will rule whether Maxwell, 58, will stay behind bars until her trial for allegedly recruiting girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
Good afternoon, Judge, Ghislaine Maxwell said in reply to the judge.
When being told to alert the judge if she has technical difficulties, Maxwell replied: Thank you, your honor, I will do that.
The British socialite Ghislaine entered a not guilty plea at a Manhattan courthouse at 1 pm local time.
When asked how she would like to plea, Maxwell replied: Not guilty your honor.
Judge Nathan set a trial date on July 12, 2021, and the government proposed blocking out three weeks for the trial.
If the judge grants Maxwell bail, she’ll probably remain incarcerated.
This would give prosecutors time to appeal while authorities arrange an electronic bracelet, to verify both her collateral and the finances of anyone required to pledge additional security.
Participants, including her accusers, will appear via video link in a large jury assembly room.
There, 60 or so spectators are tested for fevers and must answer questions related to the coronavirus.
The prosecution is led by attorney Audrey Strauss and Maxwell’s lawyer is Mark Cohen.
Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell several weeks after being confronted by two of his victims in a courtroom last year.
Maxwell has been held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn since July 6, reported Reuters.
She was booked by cops on July 2 at her million-dollar Bradford estate in New Hampshire, which she bought in an all-cash purchase back in December.
Prosecutors said she allegedly refused to open the door for FBI agents, who busted through to find that she had retreated to an interior room.
Maxwell even wrapped her phone in tin foil to try to avoid detection, lawyers claimed.
She is charged with recruiting at least three girls, one as young as 14, for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 1997 in the indictment.
Maxwell, the daughter of late Robert Maxwell, is facing six criminal charges including four related to transporting minors for illegal sexual acts and two for perjury.
She allegedly groomed Epstein’s young victims to endure sexual abuse and was sometimes even there when he abused them, as per court documents.
The disgraced socialite also allegedly lied during a 2016 deposition in a civil case stemming from Epstein’s abuse of these women and girls.
But Maxwell’s legal team argues that the media has unfairly targeted her after Epstein’s suicide, legal filings revealed.
Her lawyers said Maxwell had no contact with Epstein for more than a decade when he died and had never been charged with a crime or been found liable in any civil litigation.
They said she always denied any allegations of claimed misconduct.
Today’s hearing comes after prosecutors maintained that she is a definite flight risk if she’s granted $5 million bail given her American, French and British citizenship and wealth.
Lawyers said she caused lasting harm to Epstein’s victims, according to explosive court documents.
There should be no question that the defendant is skilled at living in hiding, prosecutors said.
The defendant has not only the motive to flee but the means to do so swiftly and effectively.
Her lawyers insist she will stay home protected by electronic monitoring, private security, and friends and family who live in the United States.
Maxwell vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence, her lawyers wrote.
Epstein’s ex-girlfriend moved to the US in 1991, they said, adding that she hasn’t left in the last year despite the investigation.
Maxwell’s legal team has also said she is at risk of contracting coronavirus at the Brooklyn jail.
Last July, Epstein was charged with sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women from 2002 to 2005 at his lavish properties in Manhattan and Palm Beach, Florida.
He hanged himself on August 10, 2019 in a Manhattan jail.