Lawyers for Epstein confidant say Cosby ruling reason to toss sex abuse case

Northeast

Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during a July 2, 2020, press conference in New York City. – Maxwell, the former girlfriend of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in the United States on July 2, 2020, by FBI officers investigating his sex crimes, multiple US media outlets reported. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell are arguing a court decision that freed Bill Cosby from prison backs up tossing out her sex trafficking case.

In court papers filed on Friday, the lawyers said the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein is in a “similar situation” as Cosby because both were covered by non-prosecution deals at the time they were charged in sex abuse cases.

Cosby was convicted in 2018 on charges of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004, when she was a Temple University employee. He was released earlier this week after Pennsylvania’s highest court found prosecutors violated his rights by reneging on an apparent promise not to charge him.

The same principle applies to Maxwell’s case because she was covered by a non-prosecution agreement Epstein signed with federal prosecutors in Florida in the late 2000s, her lawyers said.

It’s the latest among numerous approaches — so far unsuccessful — that the lawyers have taken to try to nullify charges alleging Maxwell recruited teenage girls from 1994 to 2004 for Epstein to sexually abuse. She has pleaded not guilty.

A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan declined comment on Friday.

Maxwell is set to go on trial later this year.

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