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The late Jeffrey Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, are pictured in an image presented at a news conference in New York City on July 2, 2020. Sexual abuse charges against Maxwell were announced. (AP) The late Jeffrey Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, are pictured in an image presented at a news conference in New York City on July 2, 2020. Sexual abuse charges against Maxwell were announced. (AP)

The late Jeffrey Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, are pictured in an image presented at a news conference in New York City on July 2, 2020. Sexual abuse charges against Maxwell were announced. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher August 6, 2020

No, a list of sex cases on Facebook is not from unsealed Ghislaine Maxwell records

If Your Time is short

  • Maxwell was the companion of Jeffrey Epstein. She is charged with luring girls to be sexually abused by the late financier.

  • Newly unsealed documents, from a civil suit involving Maxwell, contain more details about the allegations against the pair.

  • A list shared on Facebook of scores of people who were convicted of sex crimes or were allegedly involved in other sex-related acts does not come from the unsealed documents. Cases on the list were made public years ago.

A post viewed at least 1 million times on Facebook claims that the names of some 90 politicians and other people — all implicated in sex crimes or accused of other sexual acts — were revealed in newly unsealed court documents involving Ghislaine Maxwell.

Maxwell, the longtime companion of Jeffrey Epstein, the late disgraced financier, was recently arrested in New Hampshire on charges that she lured girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.

The post, which misspells Maxwell’s first name, introduces the names with this statement:

"#GiselleMaxwellslist became unsealed some time yesterday and here's what happened while y'all were distracted by bullshit."

The post ends with: "#thisisjustthebeginning."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We found no evidence linking the newly unsealed Maxwell documents with the list, which includes sex cases made public years or even decades ago. The list is a recitation of cases involving sex allegations that have no apparent connection to Epstein.

Epstein and Maxwell

According to official autopsy results, the 66-year-old Epstein hanged himself on Aug. 10, 2019, in a New York jail cell where he was being held on federal sex trafficking charges. 

He had been accused of victimizing dozens of girls and women over many years.

We’ve debunked several claims about Maxwell, the daughter of the late British publishing baron Robert Maxwell. She has pleaded not guilty and is being held in jail in New York City.

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The unsealing

The Facebook post was published July 31, the day after a judge unsealed dozens of court documents in civil litigation, which was settled in 2017, between Maxwell and one of Epstein’s accusers.

Many news reports about the unsealing — including those by the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Washington Post, Fox News and Bloomberg — made no mention of a lengthy list of other figures being named in the documents.

The list of cases

We reviewed the 638 pages of documents, which were posted by Law & Crime, a court and legal news website founded by attorney and TV legal commentator Dan Abrams. The documents focus on the sexual abuse allegations against Epstein and Maxwell; we didn’t find any indication that they refer to cases listed in the Facebook post.

The post lists some 90 names and sex-related allegations involving each of those people. The list includes Democratic and Republican politicians.

But the cases listed in the post have been publicly known for years, or even decades, news reports show. 

We’ve posted a list of the names, the allegations in the post and links to news reports about the cases.

Some examples:

  • "Democratic Illinois State Representative, Keith Farnham, has resigned and was charged with possession of child pornography," the post says. Farnham resigned in 2014, was convicted of trafficking in child pornography over the internet and died in prison in 2017.

  • "Spokesperson for Subway, Jared Fogle, was convicted of distribution and receipt of child pornography and traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor," the post says. The conviction, which actually included charges of repeatedly having sex with minors, was in 2015. Fogle was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison.

  • "Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting" a child, the post says. Childs had served as a Republican on the Hawai'i County Council from 1992 to 1996. He pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child in 2000 and served jail time.

We rate the post False.

PolitiFact researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

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No, a list of sex cases on Facebook is not from unsealed Ghislaine Maxwell records

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