Prosecutors believe that Ghislaine Maxwell is secretly married, and is refusing to reveal her spouse's name in court. This bombshell news was revealed during Maxwell's arraignment hearing on Tuesday, according to a report by The New York Post. It served as further evidence for federal prosecutors' case that Maxwell is a flight risk, and should not be granted bail.
"In addition to failing to describe in any way the absence of proposed co-signers of a bond, the defendant also makes no mention whatsoever about the financial circumstances or assets of her spouse whose identity she declined to provide to Pretrial Services," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe during the hearing. "There's no information about who will be co-signing this bond or their assets, and no details whatsoever."
Prosecutors claimed that Maxwell is purposely hiding her wealth from authorities in the U.S., and said that her alleged secret spouse is just one way in which she is doing so. It was a part of their overall strategy to deny Maxwell bail on the grounds that she is believed untrustworthy to show up for her trial.
Their arguments worked, as Manhattan federal Judge Alison Nathan decided that Maxwell will not be granted bail at the end of the hearing. Maxwell reportedly broke down in tears at this announcement. The 58-year-old waived her right to appear in the courtroom in person, instead participating from prison via video chat.
Maxwell is being held in the same high security prison where her ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide last year. Maxwell stands accused of aiding and abetting Epstein's alleged child sex trafficking operation — "grooming" girls to be abused by Epstein and potentially others, then transporting them across state lines.
Maxwell's attorneys argued that the heiress is trustworthy, in part because she has kept in contact with federal authorities since Epstein's arrest. However, in that time prosecutors say she has been hiding her wealth and assets, apparently preparing to go into hiding. The remote New Hampshire home where she was arrested last week was purchased in $1 million cash, and Maxwell reportedly bought it under a fake name.
If convicted, Maxwell could face up to 35 years in prison for her alleged involvement in the sexual assault of underage girls. She made the case that her age and other conditions make it unsafe for her to stay in prison during the coronavirus pandemic, but the judge disagreed. Maxwell's provisional trial date is set for July 12, 2021.