Trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, set to begin

Opening statements in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse case are anticipated to begin on Monday, as prosecutors attempt to persuade a jury that the British socialite recruited and groomed women for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse.

U.S. prosecutors say that between 1994 and 2004, Maxwell — a former employee and romantic spouse of Epstein’s — gained the ladies’ accept as true with by way of taking them to the movies, sending them gifts like underwear and discussing sexual subjects, in step with a 2021 indictment filed through the U.S. Attorney’s Administrative Center in Big Apple.

The trial comes within the wake of the #MeToo motion, which has inspired sufferers of sexual abuse to talk out against powerful males like movie producer Harvey Weinstein and R&B singer R. Kelly. Maxwell’s case sticks out because she is a lady.

Jury selection is anticipated to finish on Monday morning prior to beginning statements begin in Big Apple federal court.

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Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not to blame to 8 charges of sex trafficking and other crimes, together with two counts of perjury in order to be attempted at a later date. She faces up to EIGHTY years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Her attorneys have said that prosecutors, not able to convict Epstein, are the usage of Maxwell as a scapegoat.

Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in a New York prison mobile phone at the same time as looking ahead to trial on intercourse abuse fees. Prosecutors had accused him of paying underage women, some as younger as 14, to offer him erotic massages.

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“Left without a fish to aim to fry, the government belatedly became to Ms. Maxwell,” her legal professionals wrote in a Feb. FOUR filing.

Prosecutors say that Maxwell inspired the women to massage Epstein even as the ladies have been absolutely or partially nude. In a few cases, Epstein or Maxwell could pay them money or be offering to pay for his or her shuttle or education, and Epstein now and again masturbated or touched the women’ genitals through the massages, prosecutors said.

“Victims had been made to really feel indebted and believed that Maxwell and Epstein have been trying to lend a hand them,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment. In a few cases, Maxwell “used to be provide for and participated in the sexual abuse of youth victims,” they stated. Maxwell used to be arrested in July of 2020. Because then, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan has denied 4 requests for bail, concluding that Maxwell is a flight chance. Those denials have been upheld on appeal, and she has spent the past 17 months in isolation at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), where she has voiced fear approximately unsanitary stipulations.

‘Victim shaming … does not paintings’

Maxwell’s attorneys have indicated that they will query the credibility of the 4 alleged sufferers by asking why they waited to come forward and arguing that they have got financial incentives to lie or exaggerate.

“Any accuser who testifies that Ms. Maxwell participated in intercourse abuse or intercourse trafficking is not telling the truth,” Maxwell’s attorneys wrote in court papers.

One girl was motivated by way of a “need for money,” they said in a separate filing.

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A defence professional witness — the outstanding psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, who testified for the defence in Weinstein’s rape trial and the murder trial of actual estate inheritor Robert Durst — is predicted to testify about how people will also be manipulated into having “false memories.”

A Few felony mavens say the method is dangerous in the put up #MeToo generation, and that prosecutors would not have charged Maxwell except they had been assured the accusers’ testimonies might face up to scrutiny.

“Sufferer shaming … doesn’t paintings particularly now in 2021, and it always hurts you,” stated Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, A Brand New York defence attorney who specializes in intercourse crimes instances.

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