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SORDID secrets about Jeffrey Epstein's sex ring may not be revealed for years after a judge ruled abusers and accusers can now object to the release of future court documents.
Judge for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Loretta Preska revealed the shock move in a five-page legal order released late on Thursday afternoon.
The complex saga focuses on the unsealing of legal documents relating to Epstein, his alleged "pimp" Ghislaine Maxwell and the alleged trafficking of dozens of underage girls.
Judge Preska has now ruled those allowed to object to documents being revealed include those who “allegedly engaged in sexual acts” with Virginia Roberts or “other alleged victims."
Also on the list are people “whose intimate, sexual, or private conduct” is in the sealed records as well as other alleged Epstein and Maxwell victims.
The names are being sourced from previous filings made by the legal teams for both Roberts and Maxwell, reports Forbes.
Each side expects that the people on their respective lists are likely to suffer “privacy, reputational or other” damage when and if their names are revealed.
The order notes: “For example, for Doe #1, the Court would review each Sealed Item that mentions Doe #1, and would do the same for Does #2, #3, etc.
"This will allow the Court more easily to manage and review any objections from Non-Parties.”
Roberts and Maxwell will be alerted via judicial minute order notifications that any given person stands to have their name revealed in any given set of documents.
Both sets of attorneys will then be tasked with confidentially alerting each of the people named in the materials.
Observers fear the inevitable legal blocks to stop the release of the top secret documents on a one-by-one basis could stop them being made public for years.
The case relates to a settled defamation suit between Maxwell and Epstein accuser Roberts and documents used in the case have been unsealed twice in the past year, with more possibly to come.
On July 23, Judge Preska ordered the release of large sections of over 80 documents from the 2015 civil defamation lawsuit.
Maxwell, 58, is accused of helping Epstein recruit and abuse three girls between 1994 and 1997, as well as committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.
She has denied the charges.
Within the documents unsealed earlier, Roberts alleged Maxwell had sexual contact with females as young as 15.
In a May 2016 deposition, documents show Roberts was asked to describe any females she saw Maxwell have "sexual contact with" her "own two eyes."
According to the documents, she replied, "There's so many, I don't know where you want me to start," and was then asked to describe the girls.
Roberts responded, "There were blondes, there were brunettes, there were redheads," documents show. "They were all beautiful girls. I would say the ages range from 15 to 21."
Maxwell had earlier filed an emergency motion with the federal appeals court in Manhattan, looking to block the release of two additional documents.
Those documents included an April 2016 deposition relating to her sex life and a deposition by an unnamed Epstein accuser.
Making the deposition public, Maxwell's lawyers had argued, would make it "difficult if not impossible" to find an impartial jury for her trial.
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