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Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide while in police custody last year, and Ghislaine Maxwell, arrested by the FBI on Thursday, photographed together in 2005. (Photo: Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)

Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide while in police custody last year, and Ghislaine Maxwell, arrested by the FBI on Thursday, photographed together in 2005. (Photo: Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)

With Epstein Suicide Looming, Ocasio-Cortez Calls for Assurances of Ghislaine Maxwell's Safety While in Custody

"I hope the SDNY and all relevant parties have conducted an extensive review of the failures of Epstein's custody," said the New York Democrat.

Common Dreams staff

With last year's jailhouse suicide of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein—the billionaire and politically influential investor who killed himself after being arrested on federal sex trafficking charges—still looming in the air, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday said that the safety of his longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, must be assured after Maxwell's arrest for allegedly aiding and abetting Epstein's criminal operation by grooming and recruiting underage girls for exploitation.

According to the New York Times:

In an indictment, Ms. Maxwell was accused of helping Mr. Epstein “recruit, groom and ultimately abuse” multiple girls, including one as young as 14. 

The arrest came nearly a year after Mr. Epstein was charged in a federal indictment with sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage girls at his mansion in Manhattan, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., and other locations.

Mr. Epstein hanged himself in August in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, where he had been jailed pending trial on the federal sex-trafficking charges. After his death, federal prosecutors said they would continue to investigate his associates.

After Epstein's suicide last year, which a coroner ruled was not suspicious of foul play, Ocasio-Cortez was among the first demand accountability and an investigation into what happened to the powerful and influential figure.

"We need answers," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted at the time. "Lots of them."

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