Who Is Ghislaine Maxwell, Accused of Helping Jeffrey Epstein Groom Underage Girls for Sex Abuse?

A New York prosecutor detailed Thursday how Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly helped her longtime companion Jeffrey Epstein groom girls as young as 14 for sexual abuse — and said Maxwell sometimes "participated in the abuse herself."

At a press conference, Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the multiple charges Maxwell faces, covering a period from at least 1994 to 1997.

According to Strauss, Maxwell, a British socialite and heiress who is Epstein's former girlfriend, helped Epstein "identify, befriend and groom minor victims of abuse."

The pair "had a method," Strauss alleged, involving befriending girls by "asking them questions about their lives and pretending to be taking an interest in them."

: Ghislaine Maxwell, Former Jeffrey Epstein Companion, Arrested by FBI

Strauss alleged the pair "would take them to the movies and treat them to shopping trips. Maxwell would encourage these young girls to accept offers from Epstein to pay for their travel and their education, making these young victims feel indebted to Jeffrey Epstein."

FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge Bill Sweeney said at Thursday's press conference that authorities "had been discretely keeping tabs on Maxwell's whereabouts, and recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago."

Sweeney said Maxwell was arrested without incident.

He praised the alleged victims, saying, "They persevered against the rich and connected, and they did so without a badge, a gun or a subpoena, and they stood together."

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