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Civil Lawsuit Against Former Jeffrey Epstein Assistant Dropped Following Ghislaine Maxwell Verdict


Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein

A civil lawsuit claiming that one of Jeffrey Epstein’s former executive assistants helped the now-deceased sex offender recruit young girls for his alleged sex trafficking scheme was voluntarily dismissed. Attorneys representing Lesley Groff announced that the Jane Doe plaintiff had voluntarily dismissed her case against Groff with prejudice, meaning that the suit cannot be re-filed again.

“We are not surprised that the case was voluntarily dropped. Our hearts truly break for any person victimized by Epstein but the truth is – Lesley had no knowledge of and no participation in any of the illegal conduct alleged in the lawsuit,” Groff’s attorneys Michael Bachner and Jon Whitcomb said in a statement. “After a more than two-year investigation by the Department of Justice into Jeffrey Epstein’s conduct, which included lengthy interviews of witnesses and a thorough review of relevant communications, we have been informed that no criminal charges will be brought against Lesley Groff.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in October, alleged that Groff played an integral role in arranging Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation. In addition to Groff, the defendants were Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn, the executors of Epstein’s estate.

“Groff, Epstein’s longtime New York-based right hand, facilitated Epstein’s trafficking and sexual abuse of Jane, including by purchasing plane tickets, sending money, making appointments, and sending various communications from New York,” the complaint stated. “Groff knew or recklessly disregarded the facts and information that made clear that Epstein was trafficking Jane to Paris for commercial sex purposes, and that Epstein was doing so by means of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion, and/or a combination of such means.”

According to her attorneys, Groff worked on Epstein’s professional staff and her duties included making appointments, taking his messages, and “setting up high-level meetings with CEOs, business executives, scientists, politicians, celebrities, charitable organizations and universities.” Her legal team also noted that another Epstein-related civil lawsuit naming Groff as a defendant was also dropped last year and pointed out that no criminal charges have ever been filed against her.

The dismissal of the lawsuit comes one day after a federal jury on Wednesday found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of sex trafficking and conspiring to entice minors for Jeffrey Epstein’s predation.

Maxwell stood trial for six federal offenses for conduct spanning from 1994 to 2004, roughly breaking down into alleged violations of the Mann Act and a distinct federal anti-sex trafficking statute. She was convicted of five of them, adding up to the possibility of several decades imprisonment for Maxwell.

The last count alone, the substantive sex trafficking count, carries a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment, effectively a life sentence for a woman who turned 60 years old on Christmas Day.

[image via Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.