Ghislaine Maxwell's Lawyers Cite Bill Cosby's Release Terms, Ask Court to Toss Her Case

Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers are arguing that the same terms that aided Bill Cosby's release from prison should help her own sex trafficking case be dismissed, the Associated Press reported.

The lawyers said that Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, is facing a "similar situation" to Cosby since both were given non-prosecution deals yet charged with sex abuse, according to court papers filed Friday.

In a New York Daily News op-ed, David Oskar Markus, one of Maxwell's lawyers, said a prosecutor promised not to go after her in making the deal and he "should be bound by his word."

"When Epstein agreed to plead guilty and go to state prison, the United States agreed not to prosecute him or his alleged co-conspirators. This is in black and white: 'the United States...will not institute any criminal charges against any potential co-conspirators of Epstein,'" he wrote.

He also argued that the same logic used to free Cosby "applies directly" to her case.

"In her case, Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty and struck a bargain with the prosecutors in Miami: In exchange for pleading guilty in state court, the U.S. attorney's office agreed that it would not prosecute any of his alleged co-conspirators," Markus wrote.

"There has been quite a bit of criticism of this deal. But it is a contract that Epstein and the government entered into knowingly and voluntarily," he added. "And certainly, the government was in the better bargaining position as it is with any criminal defendant."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell attends the Fourth Annual WIE Symposium at Center 548 on Sept. 20, 2013 in New York City. Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

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.