A judge will likely decide Tuesday whether or not to bar accusers of Jeffrey Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell from posting evidence linked to Maxwell's criminal trial on the internet in an attempt to boost their pending civil lawsuits.
As attorneys for Maxwell sought to come to an agreement with prosecutors on secrecy rules-- typical for a sex abuse case -- in which both sides agree to keep the evidence confidential before the trial, the lawyers could not compromise on whether to extend the rules to the state's witnesses. Several of those witnesses were underage girls when they allege Maxwell helped recruit them in a scheme that resulted in ongoing sexual abuse at the hands of her and Epstein.
Attorneys for the British socialite, who faces six counts of sex trafficking involving minors, wrote a letter to the court Monday urging the judge to stop the victims or their attorneys from releasing any information to the internet or elsewhere, including “nude, partially nude, or otherwise sexualized images, videos, or other depictions of individuals."
Maxwell's lawyers cited current civil litigation between Maxwell and “many of the government’s potential witnesses," saying numerous potential witnesses and their lawyers have already publicly commented about the case.
“There is a substantial concern that these individuals will seek to use discovery materials to support their civil cases and future public statements," the lawyers wrote.
Last week, the judge in an already settled civil lawsuit against Maxwell from 2015 decided to unseal a majority of the documents in the dispute, despite her attorney's arguing that the sealed documents could "inappropriately influence potential witnesses or alleged victims."
Her lawyers were given one week to appeal the decision, but the court is poised to make the document dump available within the week.
Maxwell's trial in the highly publicized case is scheduled to begin in July 2021 in Manhattan federal.
She has pleaded not guilty to charges that she recruited and aided the abuse of three girls by Epstein in the 1990s
The Associated Press contributed to this report.