Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in five out of six counts in the sex trafficking trial

Loading

A housekeeper testified that he was expected to be “blind, deaf and dumb” about Epstein’s private life, a financier who cultivated friendships with influential politicians and business magnates, and Maxwell, who had led a jetset lifestyle as a favorite child of a media mogul.

Pilots took over the witness stand and dropped the names of the luminaires – Britain’s Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump – flying on Epstein’s private jets.

Jurors saw physical evidence such as a collapsible massage table once used by Epstein and a “black book” that provided contact information for some of the victims under the heading “massager.”

There were bank records showing that he had transferred $ 30.7 million to Maxwell, his longtime companion – one-time boyfriend, later employed.

But at the heart of the prosecution was the testimony of four women who said they had been victims of Maxwell and Epstein in infancy.

Three testified using first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy: Jane, a TV actress; Kate, a former model from the UK; and Carolyn, now a mother recovering from substance abuse. The fourth was Annie Farmer, a psychologist who chose to use her real name after being vocal about her claims in recent years.

They repeated each other in their descriptions of Maxwell’s behavior: she used charms and gifts to win their trust, took an interest in their youth challenges, and gave them assurances that Epstein could use his wealth and connections to fulfill their dreams.

They said the script would get darker when Maxwell enticed them to give massages to Epstein, who did sexual encounters as she played as usual: After a sexual massage, Kate, then 17, said Maxwell asked her if she had had it funny and told her, “You’re such a good girl.”

Carolyn testified that she was one of several underprivileged teens living near Epstein’s home in Florida in the early 2000s and accepted an offer to give $ 100 bills in exchange, which the accusers described as “a pyramid of abuse”.

Loading

Maxwell made all the arrangements, Carolyn told the jury, even though she knew the girl was only 14 at the time.

Jane said in 1994, when she was only 14, she was asked to follow Epstein into a pool house on his Palm Beach property, where he masturbated on her.

“I was frozen in fear,” she told the jury, adding that the assault was the first time she had ever seen a penis. She also directly accused Maxwell of participating in her abuse.

Maxwell’s lawyer asked Jane why it had taken so long to come forward.

“I was scared,” she said, choking on the tears. “I was embarrassed, ashamed. I did not want anyone to know any of this about me.”

Ghislaine Maxwell's defense attorney Laura Menninger claimed that Maxwell is a scapegoat for Jeffrey Epstein's crimes.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense attorney Laura Menninger claimed that Maxwell is a scapegoat for Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes. Credit:Bloomberg

The last to testify, Farmer described how Maxwell touched her breasts while giving her a massage on Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, and how Epstein unexpectedly crawled into bed and pressed herself against her.

Maxwell, 60, vehemently denied the allegations through his lawyers.

Still, she refused to take the risk by testifying and told the judge, “The government has not proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt, so there is no reason for me to testify.”

“The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did,” one of Maxwell’s lawyers, Bobbi Sternheim, told the jury. “But she’s not Jeffrey Epstein, and she’s not like Jeffrey Epstein.”

Maxwell’s legal team questioned whether the prosecutors’ recollections were flawed or had been influenced by lawyers seeking large payouts from Maxwell and from Epstein’s property in a civil court.

During their two-day presentation, they called as a witness Elizabeth Loftus, an Irvine professor from the University of California who has testified as a memory expert for defense attorneys in about 300 lawsuits, including the rape case against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

She said memory can be contaminated by suggestions from an interviewer, especially law enforcement or the media.

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured here with Jeffrey Epstein in Queen's Balmoral Cottage in 1999, recruited and encouraged teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, her then-boyfriend.

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured here with Jeffrey Epstein in Queen’s Balmoral Cottage in 1999, recruited and encouraged teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, her then-boyfriend. Credit:US District Attorney’s Office

Maxwell’s family – faithfully present every day of the trial – complained that she was under duress from harsh conditions in the Brooklyn prison, where she has been detained since her arrest in July 2020. She had repeatedly, and in vain, applied for bail with the argument that she was not able to contribute sufficiently to her defense.

The legal battles involving Epstein and Maxwell are not over.

Maxwell is still awaiting trial for two counts of perjury.

Loading

Trials involving the abuse charges also continue, including one in which a woman who was not involved in the trial, Virginia Giuffre, says she was forced into sexual encounters with Prince Andrew when she was 17. Andrew has denied his account, and it is not expected that the trial will come to court for many months.

AP

Leave a Comment