Home » Jeffrey Epstein faces trial by proxy: Ghislaine Maxwell

Jeffrey Epstein faces trial by proxy: Ghislaine Maxwell

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“I’ve not dedicated any crime,” the jailed Maxwell blurted out at a current pretrial convention. She was made to put on shackles coming and going from the courtroom, accentuating the severity of the allegations — though the restraints have been gone at a listening to final week.

The questioning of jurors by Choose Alison J. Nathan begins Tuesday as a pool of over 600 potential jurors is whittled right down to 12 — and 6 alternates — simply earlier than opening statements begin Nov. 29 in Maxwell’s extremely anticipated trial.

Epstein, who died at 66, was arrested on a number of intercourse trafficking prices in New York in 2019. His legal professionals contended the fees violated a 2008 non-prosecution take care of federal prosecutors in Miami that secretly ended a federal intercourse abuse probe involving no less than 40 teenage women. After pleading responsible to state prices in Florida as an alternative, he spent 13 months in jail and paid settlements to victims.

The New York case took a surprising flip when Epstein killed himself whereas awaiting trial two years in the past.

After his loss of life, prosecutors turned their sights on Maxwell. The rich, Oxford-educated British socialite was the daughter of British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, who died in 1991 after falling off his yacht — named the Girl Ghislaine — close to the Canary Islands whereas dealing with allegations he’d illegally looted his companies’ pension funds.

Behind the scenes of a lavish way of life, prosecutors say, Maxwell seized the function of satisfying Epstein’s proclivity for luring younger victims into “sexualized massages.” They plan to indicate jurors an image of Maxwell and Epstein swimming nude collectively as an example their shut relationship.

The trial’s drama will revolve round testimony from 4 girls who say they and others have been victimized as teenagers from 1994 to 2004 at Epstein’s property in Palm Seaside, Florida, his posh Manhattan townhouse and at different residences in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and London.

Prosecutors say there’s proof Maxwell knew that the victims, together with a 14-year-old, have been under the age of consent and organized journey for some between Epstein’s houses. Protection legal professionals are nonetheless attempting to scale back or remove the testimony of one of many 4 as a result of she was 17 on the time in a jurisdiction the place that wasn’t legally underage.

And prosecutors this previous weekend requested the choose to allow them to divulge to the jury statements Epstein made to an worker about Maxwell’s involvement with procuring underage women.

The indictment mentioned Maxwell “would attempt to normalize sexual abuse for a minor sufferer by, amongst different issues, discussing sexual matters, undressing in entrance of the sufferer, being current when a minor sufferer was undressed, and/or being current for intercourse acts involving the minor sufferer and Epstein.”

The Epstein and Maxwell circumstances have fueled a cottage trade of podcasts and documentaries, like Netflix’s “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy,” as well as conspiracy theoriesand conjecture.

Studies that investigators seized Maxwell’s tackle books have sparked hypothesis that the trial may discover Epstein’s connections to Prince Andrew, former President Invoice Clinton and former O.J. Simpson lawyer Alan Dershowitz. However the choose has made clear there might be no name-dropping at trial, saying solely sure pages of an tackle e-book — exhibiting a bit naming the alleged victims beneath the heading “therapeutic massage” — will come into proof.

And he or she blocked prosecutors’ try and introduce emails they mentioned would present Maxwell tried choose girls for different males, saying she was utilizing her entry to girls “as a type of social forex with different influential males with whom she sought to ingratiate herself.”

Epstein’s identify, nonetheless, is predicted to come back up often, and Maxwell’s legal professionals have complained that Maxwell has already suffered from the unfavourable publicity surrounding him. A questionnaire used to display screen potential jurors inquired whether or not they had ever posted something or an opinion about Maxwell or Epstein on social media.

The protection has signaled it desires to painting Maxwell as a sufferer of types.

“Jeffrey Epstein was an excellent man who was flawed by enduring character traits acquainted to psychiatrists,” her legal professionals mentioned in a current courtroom submitting. “Like many individuals who obtain nice energy and wealth, Jeffery Epstein exploited the ‘Halo impact’ to encompass himself with individuals who would serve his wants.”

Nathan has 4 occasions rejected Maxwell’s bail requests, noting the benefit with which the holder of U.S., French and British citizenships may use wealth and international connections to flee.

The choose additionally questioned Maxwell’s integrity, saying that she informed authorities after her July 2020 arrest that she possessed round $3.5 million in property, when she later admitted controlling $22.5 million along with her husband.

In a letter to Nathan final week, protection lawyer Bobbi Sternheim mentioned her consumer “is keen for her day in courtroom.”

Maxwell “seems ahead to her trial and to strolling out of the courthouse uncuffed and unshackled following her acquittal,” wrote the lawyer who has repeatedly complained about Maxwell’s jail circumstances, contending Maxwell’s been punished for Epstein’s suicide by guards who shine a light-weight into her cell each quarter-hour and deal with her harshly.

At a listening to final yr the place Maxwell was denied bail, some Epstein accusers made clear they imagine she was equally culpable.

One known as Maxwell “a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and numerous different youngsters and younger girls.” In a press release learn aloud by a prosecutor, one other mentioned, “With out Ghislaine, Jeffrey couldn’t have achieved what he did.”

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