Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Attorneys argued before a federal judge Wednesday whether sealed personal information that could identify dozens of people in a case linked to Jeffrey Epstein should be made public.
At a hearing before Manhattan U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, Jeffrey Pagliuca, an attorney for accused Epstein confidant Ghislaine Maxwell, argued against unsealing the information -- saying "hundreds" of names appear in the confidential material stemming from a separate 2015 defamation case.
Pagliuca argued the names were not part of the case evidence.
Virginia Giuffre had filed the defamation lawsuit filed against Maxwell, who she claims recruited her and other underage girls for sexual abuse and participated in activities tied to Epstein. In the case, which was ultimately settled, Giuffre said Maxwell defamed her by saying she lied about her account.
Epstein hung himself while in federal custody in New York last month while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges involving minors. Maxwell has refuted accusations that he aided Epstein.
Among the sealed material victims want released are 29 video depositions. Pagliuca said an address book also has about 1,000 names.
"In these 29 depositions there are dozens if not hundreds of names of other people," Pagliuca told Preska. "There are hundreds of pages of investigative reports that mention hundreds of people."
Victims attorney Sigrid McCrawly argued that only the names of minors and sensitive information should be kept sealed.
"Anybody whose information is in the documents would be notified so they could object," McCrawley said.
Preska ordered the attorneys to work out a process of categorizing the information in the sealed documents over the next two weeks. She said the lawyers should then decide what information should be released first, with additional documents made public over proceeding weeks.