Ghislaine Maxwell, “a sophisticated predator”, pleads the accusation

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell really? A “sophisticated predator”, who has targeted “vulnerable young girls” to satisfy the sexual pleasures of her ex-companion Jeffrey Epstein? Or a “woman who passed through Oxford,” who serves as a “scapegoat” for American justice after Epstein’s suicide? In closing arguments on Monday, the prosecution and the defense presented two diametrically opposed versions to the jury, which was to retire at the end of the day to begin deliberating. Indicted on six charges, including “sex trafficking” of minors, the daughter of Robert Maxwell risks up to 80 years in prison.

The prosecution fired first. “It is time for her to be held to account,” said prosecutor Alison Moe in her indictment on the last day of a three-week trial. According to the prosecutor, Ghislaine Maxwell was “the key” to the system set up by Jeffrey Epstein to recruit young girls whom he sexually abused. “They carried out their misdeeds together”, launched the prosecutor to the jury. “Out of sight, (…) they were committing horrible crimes. “

“Vulnerable young girls”

For the prosecution, Ghislaine Maxwell targeted “vulnerable young girls”: a teenager whose father had died, another with an alcoholic mother. One of them, known by the pseudonym “Jane”, detailed how this Franco-British jet-set figure had recruited her to a summer camp and made her feel “special”. “Jane” also recounted how encounters and sex acts with Jeffrey Epstein had become routine, with Ghislaine Maxwell sometimes present. Another witness, “Carolyn”, testified that she was usually paid $ 300 after each sexual encounter with Jeffrey Epstein, and that often Ghislaine Maxwell gave the money herself.

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According to the prosecutor, Ghislaine Maxwell did not only play the role of “tout”. She also “participated in the abuse”. Two accusers claim in particular that she touched their breasts during massages of a sexual nature. Epstein’s butler, Juan Alessi, testified that he had several times “cleaned” a sex toy after massages, and that he put the latter in a basket in Ghislaine Maxwell’s bathroom .

” Scapegoat “

For the defense, Ghislaine Maxwell is a “scapegoat”, who wears the hat for Epstein in his absence. One of his lawyers, Laura Menninger, reiterated that some of the testimony of the four accusers had changed over time. One of the women, in particular, had not mentioned the Briton’s name in her first deposition ten years ago. The lawyer recalled that the accusers had received “millions” of dollars from the compensation fund set up for civil justice. And to conclude: “Ghislaine Maxwell is judged for having had a relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. This may be one of the worst mistakes of his life. But it is not a crime. You have to pay it. “

With the start of deliberations expected on Monday, Ghislaine Maxwell could now know her fate before December 25, the day of her 60th birthday. If the jury does not reach a verdict by Wednesday night, they will go their separate ways for the Christmas weekend before meeting again on Monday, December 27.

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