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Judge denies Ghislaine Maxwell bid to dismiss charges

A U.S. judge on Friday rejected Ghislaine Maxwell's bid to dismiss the original indictment against her.

The British socialite is accused of recruiting three teenaged girls from 1994 to 1997 for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.

She also faces charges of lying under oath.

Maxwell argued that she could not get a fair trial because of a drumbeat of negative media publicity, and said she was being scapegoated because Epstein was dead.

Those claims were rejected by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, who said the court would ensure Maxwell's right to a fair and impartial jury.

She did, however, agree to sever the two perjury charges, which will be tried separately.

Nathan's decision covers six of the eight criminal counts Maxwell faces, to which she has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors added two more charges last month relating to a fourth alleged victim, who was said to have been recruited by Maxwell and paid to give Epstein sexualised massages between 2001 and 2004.

Maxwell is due in court next week to be formally arraigned on the additional charges.

She has been in prison in Brooklyn since her arrest last July, and faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.