Ghislaine Maxwell blames Jeffrey Epstein’s death for her arrest

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Ghislaine Maxwell is blaming her arrest on her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein’s death — claiming she is being forced to take the fall for the convicted pedophile because prosecutors need a scapegoat, according to newly unsealed court papers. 

Lawyers for Maxwell, 59 — who is being prosecuted on sex abuse charges that could put her in prison for life — challenged the case brought against her in Manhattan federal court in papers filed last week and unsealed Thursday, with some redactions.

“One does not need to engage in complex analysis to understand what has happened here: the government has sought to substitute our client for Jeffrey Epstein, even if it means stretching — and ultimately exceeding — the bounds of the law,” the lawyers wrote.

“The government’s sudden zeal to prosecute Ms. Maxwell for alleged conduct with Epstein in the 1990s — conduct for which the government never even charged Epstein — follows a history that is both highly unusual and deeply troubling,” they added.

The lawyers claim that prosecutors only went after Maxwell after Epstein’s suicide — and what then-Attorney General William Barr described as “a perfect storm of screw-ups” that left the government embarrassed. 

“She was portrayed as Epstein’s equal — if not his superior — and baselessly caricatured as a villain of near-mythical proportions,” they wrote.

“In short, the government’s response to the media frenzy was not to adhere to its earlier objective analysis and consideration of the facts, but to feed the frenzy and substitute Ms. Maxwell for Epstein.”

Prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.

Maxwell is scheduled for a July trial on charges that she recruited three teen girls for Epstein to sexually abuse, from 1994 to 1997. Sometimes Maxwell joined in, prosecutors allege. 

Those charges came exactly a year after Epstein was busted on sex trafficking charges in Manhattan. He killed himself in a Lower Manhattan federal jail a month later. 

Maxwell, a citizen of the US, the United Kingdom and France, has been held without bail after a judge rejected a $28.5 million bail proposal, stating that she had not been fully forthcoming about her finances and is a flight risk. 

She is currently housed in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where she has constantly complained about the conditions in the federal prison.

The socialite has recently filed two motions to dismiss all the counts in her criminal case.

With Post wires

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