A Manhattan federal judge said the court was still eyeing a July 12 start date for Ghislaine Maxwell’s criminal sex-trafficking trial, as the longtime confidante of Jeffrey Epstein pleaded not guilty to new charges that expanded the scope of prosecutors’ case against her.

The comments, from U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Southern District of New York, came as Maxwell made her first in-person appearance in a Lower Manhattan courthouse since her arrest last summer on charges that she had recruited and groomed young girls for sex with Epstein, the wealthy financier who died by suicide while awaiting his own trial in 2019.

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