The testimony of a British socialite in the case related to the sexual abuse activities promoted by Jeffrey Epstein may be released, an appeals court ruled on Monday.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Manhattan released its decision within a set of orders on Ghislaine Maxwell’s testimonies in 2016.
Her lawyers appealed a judge’s decision in July, which authorized the release of transcripts of two depositions, in which she answered questions before the case was established. The judge considered that there was a presumption of public access to the testimony materials.
A panel of three judges, who heard the arguments last week, found that the arguments presented by Maxwell, in defense of the confidentiality of his testimony, were without merit.
Maxwell, 58, is due to go on trial in July on charges of helping to recruit girls, including a 14-year-old girl, for Epstein to abuse them in the 1990s. She pleaded not guilty and has been in prison without bail , since his arrest in July. If convicted, she faces a prison sentence of up to 35 years.
Epstein committed suicide in a federal prison last year, pending trial, accused of sex trafficking.
A lawyer for Maxwell argued that the depositions should not be made public because they are evidence in the criminal case filed against her.
The testimonies were given in April and July 2016, in a civil lawsuit filed by one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre.
Maxwell’s lawyers said the testimonies should remain secret because they form the basis for the perjury charges in the Maxwell case.
Excerpts of seven hours of statements were made available to the public, as well as about two thousand pages of other documents.
Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Giuffre, said in a statement that the decision of the panel of judges was “an important step in demonstrating the public interest in understanding the size and scale of Epstein’s sex trafficking circle and efforts to hide it” .