What to Know
- Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell will go earlier than a federal jury in Manhattan later this month on fees she groomed underage victims to have undesirable intercourse with Epstein
- The British socialite has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Over 600 potential jurors will probably be delivered to court docket this week for questioning by the decide to weed out bias
- A panel of 12 jurors and 6 alternates will probably be picked simply earlier than opening statements begin on Nov. 29 at her extremely anticipated trial
After disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide behind bars, a decide invited his accusers to court docket to vent their anger at a person they known as a coward for taking his personal life to flee accountability for sexually abusing them.
The approaching weeks will nonetheless see, in a manner, Epstein prosecuted by proxy: his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, will stand trial in Manhattan federal court docket. A few of his accusers, recognized in court docket by pseudonyms or first names, will get an opportunity to play a key position as authorities witnesses.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not responsible to fees she groomed underage victims to have undesirable intercourse with Epstein. She has vehemently denied wrongdoing.
“I have not committed any crime,” the jailed Maxwell blurted out at a current pretrial convention. She was made to put on shackles coming and going from the courtroom, accentuating the severity of the allegations — though the restraints had been gone at a listening to final week.
The questioning of jurors by Decide Alison J. Nathan begins Tuesday as a pool of over 600 potential jurors is whittled all the way down to 12 — and 6 alternates — simply earlier than opening statements begin Nov. 29 in Maxwell’s extremely anticipated trial.
Epstein, who died at 66, was arrested on a number of sex-trafficking fees in New York in 2019. His legal professionals contended the costs violated a 2008 non-prosecution cope with federal prosecutors in Miami that secretly ended a federal intercourse abuse probe involving no less than 40 teenage ladies. After pleading responsible to state fees in Florida as an alternative, he spent 13 months in jail and paid settlements to victims.
The New York case took a stunning flip when Epstein killed himself whereas awaiting trial two years in the past.
After his loss of life, prosecutors turned their sights on Maxwell. The rich, Oxford-educated British socialite was the daughter of British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, who died in 1991 after falling off his yacht — named the Girl Ghislaine — close to the Canary Islands whereas dealing with allegations he’d illegally looted his companies’ pension funds.
Audrey Strauss, the appearing U.S. Legal professional for the Southern District of New York, outlines the costs filed towards Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell.
Behind the scenes of a lavish life-style, prosecutors say, Maxwell seized the position of satisfying Epstein’s proclivity for luring younger victims into “sexualized massages.” They plan to indicate jurors an image of Maxwell and Epstein swimming nude collectively as an example their shut relationship.
The trial’s drama will revolve round testimony from 4 ladies who say they and others had been victimized as teenagers from 1994 to 2004 at Epstein’s property in Palm Seashore, Florida, his posh Manhattan townhouse and at different residences in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and London.
Prosecutors say there’s proof Maxwell knew that the victims, together with a 14-year-old, had been beneath the age of consent and organized journey for some between Epstein’s houses. Protection legal professionals are nonetheless attempting to cut back or eradicate the testimony of one of many 4 as a result of she was 17 on the time in a jurisdiction the place that wasn’t legally underage.
And prosecutors this previous weekend requested the decide to allow them to divulge to the jury statements Epstein made to an worker about Maxwell’s involvement with procuring underage ladies.
The indictment mentioned Maxwell “would try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein.”
The Epstein and Maxwell instances have fueled a cottage business of podcasts and documentaries, like Netflix’s “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Wealthy,” in addition to conspiracy theories and conjecture.
Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI, in keeping with two senior regulation enforcement sources. Maxwell, a British socialite, had been by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s facet for many years.
Experiences that investigators seized Maxwell’s tackle books have sparked hypothesis that the trial might discover Epstein’s connections to Prince Andrew, former President Invoice Clinton and former O.J. Simpson lawyer Alan Dershowitz. However the decide has made clear there will probably be no name-dropping at trial, saying solely sure pages of an tackle e book — displaying a bit naming the alleged victims below the heading “massage” — will come into proof.
And she or he blocked prosecutors’ try to introduce emails they mentioned would present Maxwell tried choose ladies for different males, saying she was utilizing her entry to ladies “as a form of social currency with other influential men with whom she sought to ingratiate herself.”
Epstein’s title, nevertheless, is predicted to come back up ceaselessly, and Maxwell’s legal professionals have complained that Maxwell has already suffered from the unfavorable publicity surrounding him. A questionnaire used to display screen potential jurors inquired whether or not they had ever posted something or an opinion about Maxwell or Epstein on social media.
The protection has signaled it desires to painting Maxwell as a sufferer of types.
“Jeffrey Epstein was a brilliant man who was flawed by enduring personality traits familiar to psychiatrists,” her legal professionals mentioned in a current court docket submitting. “Like many people who achieve great power and wealth, Jeffery Epstein exploited the ‘Halo effect’ to surround himself with people who would serve his needs.”
Nathan has 4 occasions rejected Maxwell’s bail requests, noting the benefit with which the holder of U.S., French and British citizenships might use wealth and world connections to flee.
The decide additionally questioned Maxwell’s integrity, saying that she instructed authorities after her July 2020 arrest that she possessed round $3.5 million in belongings, when she later admitted controlling $22.5 million along with her husband.
In a letter to Nathan final week, protection lawyer Bobbi Sternheim mentioned her consumer “is eager for her day in court.”
Maxwell “seems ahead to her trial and to strolling out of the courthouse uncuffed and unshackled following her acquittal,” wrote the lawyer who has repeatedly complained about Maxwell’s jail situations, contending Maxwell’s been punished for Epstein’s suicide by guards who shine a light-weight into her cell each quarter-hour and deal with her harshly.
At a listening to final 12 months the place Maxwell was denied bail, some Epstein accusers made clear they imagine she was equally culpable.
One known as Maxwell “a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other children and young women.” In an announcement learn aloud by a prosecutor, one other mentioned, “Without Ghislaine, Jeffrey could not have done what he did.”
For those who or somebody you understand is prone to suicide please name the U.S. Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, textual content TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for extra sources.