Ghislaine Maxwell: Jury Have ‘Made Plans’ As They Opt For Long Christmas Break
Jurors in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial have broken up for Christmas and won’t return to court until next week.
Maxwell is accused of being a madam for her former partner Jeffrey Epstein, the late convicted sex offender and paedophile who was found dead in his cell in 2019 after also being arrested on federal charges for sex trafficking of minor. She’s facing a slew of charges, and faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on all of them.
US District Judge Alison Nathan dismissed the jury for a long Christmas weekend, with jurors saying ‘they have made plans’.
‘Please stay safe over the long weekend. Obviously we’ve got the variant and I need all of you here and healthy on Monday,’ Nathan told the jurors before they departed, Reuters reports.
The break in the trial means Maxwell will spend Christmas Day behind bars at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Centre, which also coincides with her 60th birthday.
While giving no indication of their thoughts on Maxwell’s guilt or innocence, jurors requested to review the testimonies of three of the accusers: Jane and Carolyn, who took the stand using pseudonyms, and Annie Farmer, as well as Juan Alessi, the former house manager at Epstein’s Palm Beach estate.
Jane alleged she was abused by Epstein and Maxwell from the age of 14. Carolyn said she was introduced to Epstein through Virginia Roberts-Giuffre at the age of 14, and claimed Maxwell groped her in a massage room while assessing her body ‘for Mr Epstein and his friends’.
Farmer alleged Maxwell instructed her to get undressed and get under the sheet on a massage table, before she ‘pulled the sheet down and exposed my breasts, and started rubbing on my chest and on my upper breast’.
In her closing argument, prosecutor Alison Moe said, ‘Maxwell and Epstein were a wealthy couple who used their privilege to prey on kids from struggling families. The way that they selected these girls tells you that they were targeting vulnerable kids. It is not an accident that Jane and Kate and Annie and Carolyn all came from single-mother households.’
Meanwhile, Maxwell’s attorney Laura Menninger argued, ‘She’s being tried here for being with Jeffrey Epstein, and maybe that was the biggest mistake of her life, but it was not a crime.’
Maxwell declined to take the stand last week, telling the judge, ‘Your honour, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. And so there is no need for me to testify.’
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
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