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Trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, partner of Jeffrey Epstein, for sex trafficking begins


People will get a glimpse into the life of the late Jeffrey Epstein when his partner Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial begins.

UK police to review Epstein-Maxwell case 0:41

(CNN) -

People will get a glimpse into the life of the late Jeffrey Epstein when his partner Ghislaine Maxwell's trial for sex trafficking begins.

Opening statements are expected to begin Monday after the jury meets.

Federal prosecutors allege that the British socialite created a network of underage victims for Epstein to sexually exploit.

Maxwell was first charged in July 2020 with incitement and conspiracy to entice minors to travel for illegal sexual acts, transportation and conspiracy to transport minors with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activities for allegedly grooming and recruiting underage girls of age from 1994 to 1997.

Prosecutors later added two counts of sex trafficking, alleging that Maxwell interacted with a 14-year-old girl on multiple occasions in Palm Beach, Florida.

And he encouraged and goaded her to recruit other girls to perform "sexualized massages" on Epstein despite knowing that he was under 18 years old.

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Maxwell has vigorously denied any wrongdoing, telling the court at a recent hearing: "I have not committed any crime."


She faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted of all six counts.

Maxwell allegedly helped Epstein run a sex trafficking company

Maxwell was arrested nearly a year after Epstein was arrested on charges related to allegations that he ran a sex trafficking business out of his Manhattan and Palm Beach homes from 2002 to 2005. The indictment alleges that Epstein worked with employees and associates to lure girls into his residences and paid some of his victims to recruit other girls for him to abuse.

Epstein was found dead in his prison cell shortly after his arrest in 2019. The medical examiner later determined that the cause of death was suicide by hanging.

They registered him as a sex offender and convicted him after pleading guilty to two state prostitution charges in 2008.

Maxwell was once widely recognized in high society for her jet-setting with Epstein and other high-profile figures like Prince Andrew and former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

She apparently left the network after Epstein was arrested while disembarking from a flight from Paris in July 2019.

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Alleged victims testify at trial

The four alleged victims in the case are identified in the indictment as Minor Victims 1 to 4.

Maxwell was present and involved in some of the abuses alleged by Minor Victim 1, court documents say.

That victim allegedly met Maxwell when she was about 14 years old and was sexually abused by Epstein on his properties in New York and Florida, according to the indictment.

Maxwell "involved" the girl in group "sexualized massages" with Epstein, undressed in front of the girl and was present when Minor Victim 1 undressed in front of Epstein, the indictment says.

Minor Victim 2 traveled to New Mexico in 1996 where Epstein allegedly abused her on his ranch.

Maxwell allegedly groomed Minor Victim 2 by giving her an unsolicited massage while she was not wearing her shirt.

Maxwell also encouraged Minor Victim 2 to massage Epstein, according to the indictment.

Judge Alison Nathan ruled before trial that jurors would be instructed that they cannot convict Maxwell based on testimony about the sexual conduct between Epstein and a woman identified in the indictment as Victim Minor 3 because she was 17 at that time. timing and therefore on the age of consent in the relevant jurisdictions.

Alleged general conspiracy to attract minors

Your testimony as a witness will remain relevant to the general alleged conspiracy to entice minors to engage in illegal sexual conduct.

Maxwell allegedly befriended her and groomed her and introduced her to Epstein in London when she was 17, according to the indictment.

Maxwell encouraged her to perform sexualized massages during which she was allegedly abused by Epstein in 1994 and 1995.

Minor Victim 4 met Maxwell when she was recruited at approximately 14 years of age to give Epstein sexualized massages at his Palm Beach residence.

Between 2001 and 2004, Child Victim 4 received hundreds of dollars in cash for his interactions with Epstein during which he sexually abused her, according to the indictment.

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The victim also allegedly recruited other young women to give Epstein sexualized massages at the request of him and Maxwell.

At times, Maxwell would call the victim from New York to schedule Epstein's massages upon their return to Florida.

Maxwell also sent gifts from New York, including lingerie, to the victim's Florida home, the indictment says.

Maxwell's attorney maintains that she is innocent and that she was only charged because Epstein died.

What we could see in court

The trial is expected to last about six weeks.

It will continue through the next vacation, which means Maxwell will likely celebrate his 60th birthday in federal prison on Christmas Day.

Jurors will see Maxwell unshackled sitting at the defense table in normal clothing and a medical mask, a requirement for all court goers.

Maurene Comey, the daughter of former FBI Director James Comey, is one of the prosecutors in charge of the case.

The alleged victims and some other witnesses will testify under pseudonyms or by their first name, although the jury will know their identities, according to court documents.

Jurors were able to see Maxwell's 'little black book'

A former employee at Epstein's Palm Beach mansion will testify about an address book containing contact information for alleged underage victims and high-profile celebrities Epstein and Maxwell associated with, according to court documents.

It is unclear at this time whether jurors will be able to see a copy of the book during the trial.

The employee will testify that this copy aligns with her keepsake of the machine-stitched, bound book that contains contact information for members of Maxwell's family and the alleged victims in this case, court documents say.

Judge Nathan said during the final pre-trial hearing that she would listen to the anonymous clerk's testimony about the book before deciding whether jurors can see anything of it.

Prosecutors say the book belonged to Maxwell and copies of it and another belonging to Epstein were placed around Epstein's home for convenience, according to a house manual obtained through a search warrant.

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Experts expected to testify on sexual assault preparedness

Prosecutors allege that Maxwell had a pattern of grooming for Epstein's victims.

That made them feel comfortable taking them on outings like shopping, going to movies, and asking them about their personal lives.

An expert on child sexual abuse, Dr. Lisa Rocchio, is expected to testify for the indictment regarding the preparation of minors for sexual abuse.

This is a concept at the crux of the government's argument for the charges against Maxwell in the indictment.

Judge Nathan ruled that the defense can also call in expert witnesses to combat the expected testimony of the prosecution's expert.

Dr. Park Dietz is expected to downplay grooming in defense testimony.

This, saying that grooming may simply be polite behavior that does not necessarily have to be associated with sexual abuse, according to a defense motion.

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Dr. Elizabeth Loftus is also expected to testify for the defense on memory distortion and victims' tendency to recall central information but forget or recall peripheral details surrounding a traumatic event, according to a defense motion.

Loftus received a similar payment to testify on the matter in Harvey Weinstein's defense in the 2020 trial that ended with a conviction of the disgraced movie mogul on sexual misconduct charges.

Maxwell faces two additional perjury charges related to allegations that he lied during a 2016 civil deposition. They are expected to be handled in a separate trial.

Jeffrey Epstein

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-11-29

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