Both legal teams argued over which details to include or redact from the case filed last month
A federal judge in New York has granted requests to redact segments from Ghislaine Maxwell case filed last month, ruling some of the details were too “sensational and impure” to reveal.
The decision comes as federal prosecutors and Maxwell’s defence team argue about which of the evidence submitted under seal to keep out of the public eye.
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan on Thursday adhered to most of the redactions filed by the U.S. government on its case and added several redactions of transcript interviews at Maxwell’s request.
Citing privacy interests, Nathan ruled the disclosure of certain portions of the transcript “would merely serve to cater to a ‘craving for that which is sensational and impure.’”
The decision also favours most of the Department of Justice’s requests to keep the redactions they argue safeguards the ongoing criminal investigation into Maxwell and maintain the privacy of third parties.
“The interest in protecting the safety and privacy of those individuals outweighs the presumption of access that attaches to those documents,” Nathan wrote.
The court sided with Maxwell in several instances where the government failed to justify “why its investigation at this stage of the matter would be imperiled by the disclosure of the information regarding how it obtained the information in question.”
The court will allow the government to seek more tailored redactions to exclude from the public record.
Maxwell wanted to put a number of redactions made by the government on the record, but the judge rejected the objections, saying the defense failed to provide evidence that the redacted information “has been made public by other means.”
“At least some of the redactions to which the defendant objects relate to private ‘family affairs’ of a third party, a factor that ‘weigh(s) more heavily against access than conduct affecting a substantial portion of the public,’” the judge wrote, citing a different case.
Definitive aspects of the redacted content are missing from the ruling.
Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, is accused of helping the convicted pedophile recruit and sexually abuse girls as young as 14. Charges against the British socialite involve lying under oath and child sex trafficking. Maxwell has vehemently denied the charges.
Her trial is currently scheduled for July.