Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell arrested by FBI

Photo: Cheetoskeeto (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British heiress and longtime confidant of billionaire sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, is in FBI custody. She was arrested in New Hampshire, reports NBC News, and charged with conspiracy to sexually abuse children.

The six-count indictment in Manhattan federal court alleges that Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14 years old, going back as far as 1994.

"In some instances, Maxwell was present for and participated in the sexual abuse of minor victims," the indictment says. The daughter of media baron Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine was a one-time girlfriend of Epstein's and was at the high-flying investor's side for decades. But she was also alleged to have helped Epstein groom teen girls for sex with the rich and powerful. One of those teens, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, leveled that charge against Maxwell in a 2015 defamation suit, as have a number of other women.