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Jeffrey Epstein's 'Pimp' Ghislaine Maxwell to Go on Trial in New York City

© AP Photo / John MinchilloJeffrey Epstein Associate
Jeffrey Epstein Associate - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.11.2021
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Since Epstein was found hanged in prison on 10 August 2019, while awaiting trial, the prosecution has shifted its attention to the financier's alleged accomplices. Maxwell, who dated Epstein in the 1990s, is said to have groomed girls and young women for the sex offender. She has denied all the accusations.
Ghislaine Maxwell is set to go on trial in New York City. The proceedings, which will last for about six weeks with a brief pause over Christmas, are expected to shed light on the alleged sexual trafficking network created by financier Jeffrey Epstein and whether his powerful friends – Queen Elizabeth's second son Prince Andrew and former US President Bill Clinton – were implicated in his crimes. Here are the key aspects of the trial:

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

Born on 25 December 1961 in France, she is the ninth and youngest child of British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell. She is said to have been close with her father and briefly attended to his business after he died in 1991. That same year, she flew to the United States, where she began her career in real estate. It was reportedly then when she met Jeffrey Epstein.

According to the indictment, the two were in an "intimate relationship" between 1994 and 1997, but even after their separation Ghislaine Maxwell is said to have maintained a close relationship with the financier.

What are the Charges?

In 2019, dozens of women accused Epstein of sexual abuse and rape. They claimed that Maxwell lured them into the hands of the financier by promising them well-paid jobs at the millionaire's house. Some of the women claimed that she not only groomed them, but also took part in the abuse.
On 10 August 2019, a month after his arrest, Epstein was found hanging in his prison cell while awaiting trial. Thus, she is the only person who can shed light on his purported crimes.
Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 and faces eight charges, including sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor as well as enticing minors as young as 14 to engage in illegal sex acts.

She claims she is innocent, while her legal team has argued that prosecutors have made her a scapegoat for Epstein's alleged crimes as they failed to bring the financier to justice.

Testimony and Evidence

Four women are expected to testify during the trial. They are the underage girls Maxwell reportedly groomed for Epstein. Former model Adriana Ross is set to testify against Maxwell. She is reportedly one of Epstein's co-conspirators granted immunity as part of a plea deal he struck with federal prosecutors in 2008, when Epstein was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution and spent 18 months in jail. Reports say another co-conspirator may testify during the trial.
Prosecutors plan to present a notebook with the names and contact information of Epstein's alleged victims. The notebook, which belongs to Maxwell, provides "compelling evidence" of her guilt, prosecutors have argued.

How Will the Defence Respond?

As mentioned earlier, Maxwell's legal team has argued that she is innocent. Her lawyers plan to challenge the claims by saying that the accusers might have faulty memories. The legal team has hired leading experts in psychiatry and memory, who will testify during the trial. One of them is Professor Elizabeth Loftus, the from UCI School of Social Ecology.

She has participated in numerous court cases, including such high-profile proceedings as the trial of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, serial killer Ted Bundy, and athlete-turned-actor OJ Simpson.

"She will describe scientific research showing that false memories can be described with confidence, detail, and emotion, just like true memories", reads a letter written by Maxwell's lawyer.

Maxwell's legal team has also filed a subpoena for documents related to the settlement fund for Epstein's alleged victims. It was reported that the Epstein estate has so far paid over $120 million to more than 135 people. Maxwell's lawyers insist that those who received settlements were required to forfeit the right to sue Epstein's estate and "related entities and/or individuals", including Ghislaine Maxwell.
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