The legal loophole that led to Bill Cosby being released from prison also applies to Ghislaine Maxwell, her lawyers have claimed.
In a letter to a judge, they said an agreement struck by the late Jeffrey Epstein in 2007, giving him immunity from prosecution, covered her too.
Maxwell, 59, is accused of sex trafficking and other offences connected to her relationship with Epstein, a financier and convicted paedophile.
Cosby, 83, walked free on Wednesday after Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court said he should not have been charged in the first place.
Referring to a 2005 agreement not to charge the actor with drugging and assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand, the court said that meant a legal case should never have happened a decade later.
Maxwell’s lawyers, in their letter to US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, said Epstein’s non-prosecution agreement supported dismissing four charges from Maxwell’s eight-count indictment.
“As in Cosby, the government is trying to renege on its agreement and prosecute Ms Maxwell over 25 years later for the exact same offenses for which she was granted immunity,” they wrote.
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“This is not consistent with principles of fundamental fairness.”
Judge Nathan has already ruled against the lawyers’ claims.
Epstein struck his agreement with federal prosecutors in Florida in exchange for pleading guilty to state prostitution charges.
But Judge Nathan said in April that prosecutors in Manhattan were not bound by the deal.
She also rejected a claim from Maxwell that it covered accused co-conspirators such as herself.
Maxwell, who has pleaded not guilty and is set to go on trial later this year, faces up to 80 years in prison.
Epstein killed himself at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019, aged 66, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.