(Reuters) – Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and longtime associate of the late accused sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in New Hampshire on Thursday on U.S. charges of helping to lure underage girls who were then sexually abused by Epstein.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Maxwell about 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) in Bradford, New Hampshire, about 25 miles west of Concord, an agency spokeswoman said on Thursday.
She was due to appear in federal court on Thursday, sources told Reuters.
Epstein was awaiting trial on charges of trafficking minors when he was found hanged in an apparent suicide while in a New York City jail in August.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a news release it would announce charges later in the day against Maxwell “for her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein.”
Federal prosecutors said in court papers she had “enticed and caused minor victims to travel to Epstein’s residence in different states” and that Maxwell would assist in their “grooming for and subjection to sexual abuse.”
Prosecutors charged that Maxwell was well aware of Epstein’s preference for minor girls, and that he intended to sexually abuse them.
Maxwell has kept a low profile since the death of Epstein, a financier who was accused of raping and trafficking underage girls over nearly two decades. Some of Epstein’s alleged victims have said Maxwell lured them into his circle, where they were sexually abused by him and powerful friends.
Maxwell was an ex-girlfriend of Epstein who became a longtime member of his inner circle. In a 2003 Vanity Fair article, Epstein was quoted as saying Maxwell was his “best friend.”