Ghislaine Maxwell will no longer fight to keep the names of eight ‘John Does’ secret and will leave it to the court to decide whether the names should be unsealed, according to a January 12 letter to federal Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York.
The documents containing the names are connected to a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed Epstein sexually abused her while she was a minor and that Maxwell aided in the abuse. The case was settled in 2017.
Maxwell, 60, faces up to 65 years in prison after she was found guilty last month in a New York federal court on five federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor. The charges were related to her role in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls between 1994 and 2004.
“After careful review of the detailed objections submitted by Non-Party Does 17, 53, 54, 55, 73, 93 and 151, counsel for Ghislaine Maxwell writes to inform the Court that she does not wish to further address those objections,” Maxwell attorney Laura Menninger wrote. “Each of the listed Does has counsel who have ably asserted their own respective privacy rights. Ms. Maxwell therefore leaves it to this Court to conduct the appropriate review.”
Giuffre’s attorney had filed a brief on Wednesday, arguing for the names to be revealed.
“[G]eneralized aversion to embarrassment and negativity that may come from being associated with Epstein and Maxwell is not enough to warrant continued sealing of information. This is especially true with respect to this case of great public interest, involving serious allegations of the sex trafficking of minors,” Guiffre attorney Sigrid McCawley wrote.
“Now that Maxwell’s criminal trial has come and gone, there is little reason to retain protection over the vast swaths of information about Epstein and Maxwell’s sex-trafficking operation that were originally filed under seal in this case.”
McCawley said the court has already rejected similar arguments for anonymity and the same standard should apply to the eight ‘John Does’ who still remain anonymous in court documents.
“Upon review of the objections of those Does, it is apparent that their objections essentially mirror objections to unsealing that this Court has already rejected: that unsealing certain documents might be embarrassing, would expose non-parties to media attention, and could result in some unfortunate association between the non-parties and Jeffrey Epstein or Ghislaine Maxwell,” McCawley wrote.
McCawley added at least two of the unidentified people – John Does 53 and 54 respectively – do not oppose and do not generally object to their names being unsealed.
Maxwell also was found guilty of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy. Her attorneys plan to appeal.
Maxwell denied knowing Epstein had a scheme to recruit underage girls for sex, according to her 2016 deposition related to Giuffre’s defamation case.
CNN’s Brian Vitagliano contributed to this report.