Jury in Ghislaine Maxwell Case Told to Stay for Additional Time After No Verdict Announced

© AP Photo / Elizabeth WilliamsGhislaine Maxwell, center, appears in Manhattan Federal court flanked by her attorneys, Bobbi C. Sternheim, left, and Jeff Paugliuca, right, and a US Marshal, rear, during her arraignment on a superceding indictment, Friday, April 23, 2021, in New York.
Ghislaine Maxwell, center, appears in Manhattan Federal court flanked by her attorneys, Bobbi C. Sternheim, left, and Jeff Paugliuca, right, and a US Marshal, rear, during her arraignment on a superceding indictment, Friday, April 23, 2021, in New York. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.12.2021
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The daughter of late UK publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell has been accused by several women, who claim that Maxwell groomed them for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, a US financier who was charged with running a sex trafficking network of minors in 2019. The 60-year-old has denied all the accusations and claims she is innocent.
Judge Alison Nathan, presiding over the case of Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein, has asked jurors to work for an additional hour until the end of the trial as yet another day of deliberations has ended without a verdict.
The request has been met with opposition from Maxwell's lawyer, Laura Menninger, who argued that such instructions looked as if the prosecution was "urging [jurors] to hurry up [with the verdict]". Yet, prosecutor Alison Moe argued that it was "within the court's discretion" to ask the jury to stay longer each day in order to reach a verdict.

On Monday, jurors asked to see the transcripts of testimonies of Jeffrey Epstein's former pilot David Rodgers, police officer Gregory Parkinson, who took part in the 2005 raid on Epstein's house, as well as the boyfriend of the accuser named Jane. The latter reportedly could corroborate her account that Ghislaine Maxwell gave her work at Epstein's house so that the late financier could sexually abuse her when she was 14.

The jury, consisting of six men and six men, also asked the court for a definition of enticement, one of the charges Maxwell is facing. Judge Alison Nathan said that it could mean "attracting, inducing, or luring using hope or desire".

Partner in Crime or Victim of Circumstance?

Born on 25 December 1961 in France, Ghislaine Maxwell is the ninth and youngest child of British publishing tycoon and billionaire 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 a 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.

Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges of running a sex trafficking network of minors. He was found hanged in his cell a month after arrest while awaiting trial. His death was ruled a suicide, although claims have been made that the financier, who rubbed shoulders with presidents, billionaires, and royals, could have been killed by his powerful friends, who feared they may be implicated in the trial.

This was not Epstein's first criminal case. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to two felony charges, including to soliciting a minor for prostitution, was ordered to register as a sex offender and was also jailed for 18 months. In return, prosecutors granted him and his potential co-conspirators, "including, but not limited to (the four)", immunity from all federal prosecution.
After the financier died attention shifted to his friends and alleged accomplices, in particular Ghislaine Maxwell.

The jury will need to decide whether she was Jeffrey Epstein's partner in crime or a victim of circumstances. The prosecution has argued the former – several women who testified during the trial told the court how Maxwell lured them into the hands of Epstein promising them well-paid jobs at the millionaire's house. Some individuals even alleged that Maxwell herself took part in the abuse.

Maxwell's legal team has insisted that the prosecution has made her a scapegoat for Jeffrey Epstein's crimes since they failed to bring the financier to court. Her lawyers have also maintained that the accusers have faulty memories. They hired several experts in psychiatry and memory, who testified during the trial. Professor Elizabeth Loftus, the from UCI School of Social Ecology, who has participated in several high-profile proceedings, told the court that an individual's memory can be corrupted over time by outside information or suggestions.

In closing arguments by the defence on Monday, lawyer Laura Menninger said that over the course of the trial, the prosecution has tried to show that Maxwell's relationship with Epstein meant that she allegedly was involved in his purported crime empire.

"The idea was that Ghislaine was there, she must have known. The government has failed to prove any charge beyond a reasonable doubt and the only correct verdict in this case is not guilty on each count", the lawyer said.

The verdict is expected to be announced before the end of the year.
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