Judge Rules Some Ghislaine Maxwell Details Are Too ‘Sensational and Impure’ to Be Revealed to the Public

Law & Crime:

A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday ruled on a series of redactions proposed by Ghislaine Maxwell and prosecutors regarding a compilation of transcripts submitted under seal by the government last month.

“Those portions of the transcript, which were redacted in the civil matter, concern privacy interests and their disclosure would merely serve to cater to a ‘craving for that which is sensational and impure,’” she wrote. “The Court thus concludes that such redactions are justified.”

After reviewing arguments from both sides, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan allowed most of the government’s redactions to remain in place over Maxwell’s objections while also adding several additional redactions at her request.

Maxwell’s legal team in January filed 12 motions requesting that the court, among other things, dismiss all of the charges relating to her alleged role as a recruiter of young girls for infamous and since-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The government responded in February with an “omnibus memorandum of law” opposing Maxwell’s motions, all of which were filed under seal pending rulings on the redactions.

The government argued that its redactions were required in order to “protect the integrity” of its ongoing criminal investigation into Maxwell and to protect the privacy interests of third parties. Judge Nathan granted most of the government’s requests, reasoning that the redactions were based on legitimate interests to overcome the presumption of public access to judicial documents.

“Exhibit 1 contains a single redaction—the name of a third party—and the Court concludes that that individual’s personal privacy interests outweigh the presumption of access that exists as to that limited portion of the exhibit,” Judge Nathan wrote. “The proposed redactions to Exhibit 7 are similar in that they seek to protect from public access only the names and contact information of third parties. Here, too, the interest in protecting the safety and privacy of those individuals outweighs the presumption of access that attaches to those documents.”

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