Understanding everything at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell in the Epstein affair

The heiress will soon be determined on her fate. The jury at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking will continue its deliberations this Wednesday, December 22 in New York to decide whether this former figure of the jet set helped his companion, the American financier who died in prison Jeffrey Epstein, to surround himself with young girls whom he sexually exploited.

After a first hour of work Monday, the twelve jurors, who have the fate of the accused in hand, met behind closed doors all day Tuesday, without reaching a unanimous decision. The calendar calls for a break between Wednesday evening and Monday for Christmas, but Judge Alison Nathan has announced that she will finally suggest that jurors meet on Thursday, December 23, if they wish, to complete their verdict before the holidays.

Described as a “sophisticated predator”

The jury must say whether Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, was guilty or not of six crimes, all related to sexual violence committed between 1994 and 2004 by Jeffrey Epstein on four victims, minors at the time of the facts, and who testified during the three weeks of the trial.

Suspected of having surrounded himself for years with many young girls, to whom he asked for sexual massages, in his luxurious residences in Florida, New Mexico or in the US Virgin Islands, the multimillionaire had committed suicide in a new prison -Yorkaise in the summer of 2019. An end that caused a scandal, depriving dozens of victims of a trial. A year later, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested.

The daughter of Robert Maxwell, the media mogul who died in 1991, faces a lengthy prison sentence if convicted as requested Monday by prosecutor Alison Moe, who portrayed her as a “sophisticated predator” and a key figure of the system set up with Jeffrey Epstein, of whom she was the “partner in love” and “the right arm”. This penalty would be fixed later.

She acted as a “mistress of the house”

“Epstein loved underage girls, he loved touching underage girls. Maxwell knew it, ”had launched the prosecutor. The four witnesses all emphasized the role of the former socialite in approaching them or asking them to come to the financier’s luxurious villa in Palm Beach, Florida, for massages which always ended in sexual acts. A villa where Ghislaine Maxwell acted as “mistress of the house”, taking care of everything up to the choice of “lotions” and “oils”, assured Alison Moe, emails from the accused in support.

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The defense on the contrary pleaded the acquittal, assuring that there was “no proof that Ghislaine Maxwell” recruited only one of the four victims to deliver it to Epstein and castigating “the very bad and variable memory” of the accusers on events over 25 years old.

On Tuesday, jurors notably asked that they be questioned of one of them, “Carolyn”, before the FBI in 2007, at the time of the first suspicions against Epstein. The defense had relied on this hearing to show that “Carolyn” had never mentioned Maxwell’s name at the time, when she accuses him 14 years later. The judge did not grant this request, considering that it was not “evidence” in the file.

Ghislaine Maxwell refused to testify

Concretely, the jury must say if Ghislaine Maxwell encouraged one of the victims, “Jane”, to have sex with the multimillionaire from 1994 to 1997, from 14 to 17 years old. Or if she was guilty of sex trafficking against “Carolyn”, paid 300 dollars per massage and also underage at the time of the facts (2001-2004). During her testimony, “Jane” had told how the couple had approached her and then put her at ease, promising to help this young girl from a disadvantaged family in Palm Beach.

In prison since her arrest, Ghislaine Maxwell has pleaded not guilty. “Your honor, the prosecution has not provided evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, so I do not need to testify,” she said Friday, for her sole speech.

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