Spotlight turns on Prince Andrew once more after arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell

Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell during

Former Jeffrey Epstein companion Ghislaine Maxwell is in federal custody

New York (CNN)Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime girlfriend and alleged accomplice of accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the ongoing federal investigation into Epstein's accomplices, according to a person familiar with the matter. The new case signals that prosecutors are aggressively pursuing allegations that others helped Epstein abuse underage girls and that the details will be aired in court if Maxwell takes her case to trial.

The attorney for a number of Jeffrey Eptein's victims Spencer T. Kuvin, Esq, released the following statement: "As we have consistently said, we were hopeful that the U.S. Attorney's office would hold all co-conspirators accountable for their actions in the Epstein conspiracy".

One of the teenage victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claimed in a defamation lawsuit that Ms Maxwell was involved in the grooming process for Epstein.

He hanged himself in Manhattan's Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10 previous year while awaiting trial on charges of trafficking minors for sex.

Epstein has been linked socially to numerous powerful figures, from President Donald Trump to former President Bill Clinton and Britain's Prince Andrew.

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Maxwell allegedly "enticed" minors to travel to Epstein's palatial residences in various US states with the knowledge that those minors would be sexually abused.

Maxwell has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said some of the claims against her were "absolute rubbish".

After Maxwell won the girls' trust, the indictment alleges, she would try to "normalize sexual abuse" by discussing sexual topics or by undressing in front of them or being present when they were undressed.

Maxwell is facing up to life in prison for transporting a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Meanwhile, Laura Goldman, who says she is a friend Maxwell's family, told Fox News that "I hope the real story comes out".

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Ghislaine Maxwell founded environmental nonprofit the TerraMar Project, an oceanic conservation group which took her around the world. These alleged efforts included "moving locations at least twice, switching her primary phone number (which she registered under the name "G Max") and email address, and ordering packages for delivery with a different person listed on the shipping label".

Several victims have come forward alleging that Maxwell acted as a "madame" and connected them with high profile men to engage in illicit sexual activities.

Attorney David Boies, who represents some of Epstein's accusers, said it "is a great day for justice".

The 58-year-old daughter of British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell has been accused by Epstein's alleged victims of procuring underage girls for the disgraced financier, a claim she denies.

This included sexualised massages. Maxwell would encourage these young girls to accept offers from Epstein to pay for their travel and their education, making these young victims feel indebted to Jeffrey Epstein. The perjury charge stems from her 2016 testimony during a case that was pending in NY.

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