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Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers cite Bill Cosby case in seeking dismissal

Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers cited the non-prosecution agreement in Bill Cosby's case in a court filing Friday. File Photo by Rick Bajornas/EPA-EFE
Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers cited the non-prosecution agreement in Bill Cosby's case in a court filing Friday. File Photo by Rick Bajornas/EPA-EFE

July 3 (UPI) -- Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers have cited a non-prosecution agreement similar to one obtained by Bill Cosby in seeking to drop the sex trafficking case against the British socialite.

Cosby, 83, was released from prison Wednesday after serving more than two years of a three-to-10-year sentence on a 2018 conviction for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004.

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the conviction, basing the decision on the grounds that Cosby had an agreement with a previous prosecutor that he wouldn't be charged in the case.

Late Friday, lawyers for Maxwell, 59, argued in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan that her case should also be dropped since she had a similar NPA.

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Maxwell, a confidante of financier Jeffrey Epstein, allegedly recruited underage girls for a sex trafficking network he ran from about 1997 to 2004.

"The government is trying to renege on its agreement and prosecute Ms. Maxwell over 25 years later for the exact same offenses for which she was granted immunity in the NPA," the attorneys wrote.

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Maxwell was in a "similar situation" as Cosby, they added.

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Already facing six counts of participating in Epstein's sex trafficking network, Maxwell was hit with two new charges in March lengthening the duration of the alleged conspiracy due to the involvement of an additional alleged victim.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, she could face up to 80 years in prison.

Epstein, 66, was found dead in August 2019 of a suspected suicide in his prison cell where he was being held on sex trafficking charges.

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In April 2020, a federal appeals court ruled that federal prosecutors had not broken the law when they made a 2007 agreement with Epstein shielding him from prosecution on charges related to sexual abuse of minors.

Epstein registered as a sex offender as part of the deal made with federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta in Florida. Acosta later headed the U.S. Department of Labor under President Donald Trump's administration, but resigned after controversy about the NPA.

Maxwell attorney David Oscar Markus also compared her case to Cosby's in an opinion piece published Wednesday in the New York Daily News.

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Prosecutors, however, noted in a court filing made the next day that Nathan has already ruled that the deal negotiated between Epstein and Acosta in Florida does not apply to her ongoing case in Manhattan Federal Court in New York.

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