Jury in Ghislaine Maxwell trial could begin deliberations TODAY after hearing closing arguments
- Maxwell, 59, faces an effective life sentence if convicted on all six counts
- Prosecution say she trafficked teenage girls for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein
- Defense claims she is being tried as a stand-in for the late pedophile financier
- Jury will deliberate after roughly six hours worth of closing arguments
The jury are set to deliberate on Ghislaine Maxwell’s fate as the prosecution and defense today make their closing arguments in her sex trafficking trial.
Maxwell, 59, faces life behind bars if convicted on six counts of enticing and transporting underage girls to to be abused by pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, her former lover and long-time companion.
The closing arguments are expected to run to around six hours before the jury are sent out to deliberate by the judge at the Manhattan federal court in New York.
Legal experts believe jurors will reach a verdict by the end of the week as they are unlikely to want the case hanging over them into Christmas.
It comes amid warnings that if Maxwell is sent down she could start ‘naming names.’
Ghislaine Maxwell pose for a photo at what appears to be a ski resort. Prosecutors showed dozens of never-before-seen photos of the pair together to convince jurors of the closeness of their relationship
Maxwell listens to arguments during her trial on Saturday
Maxwell’s siblings Isabel and Kevin have been attending throughout (pictured on Friday evening)
‘This could be bad news for Prince Andrew and other high-profile men who hung out with Ghislaine and Jeffrey Epstein,’ a legal source connected with the case told The Mail on Sunday.
‘It is possible she will begin to co-operate and tell what she knows in an attempt to lessen her jail term. We know that prosecutors are looking at other co-conspirators in connection with Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex ring. Ghislaine undoubtedly possesses information which could assist prosecutors in other cases. If she decides to co-operate, her testimony could be devastating. She was Epstein’s right-hand woman for years, imagine what she knows?’
Prince Andrew has been mentioned three times throughout the trial, including by Epstein’s pilot who testified that he flew on ‘the Lolita Express.’
One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts, is suing the Duke of York separately in New York, claiming she was forced to have sex with the royal on three occasions, including at Maxwell’s Belgravia townhouse.
Andrew vehemently denies all the allegations.
Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were also named in court as associates of Epstein, as were actor Kevin Spacey and a slew of Wall Street financiers and politicians.
Maxwell’s defense will argue that she is being tried as a stand-in for Epstein who was found hanged in his Manhattan prison cell while awaiting trial in 2019.
US prosecutors and Maxwell’s lawyers are expected to take between two and three hours each to sum up their case in the Manhattan federal court in New York.
Judge Alison Nathan will then instruct the 12 jurors how to consider the charges before instructing them to retire to deliberate their verdict.
They must reach a unanimous decision to convict. If they cannot agree, then the judge could declare a mistrial.
Prosecutors have sought to portray Maxwell as Epstein’s partner-in-crime in the high-profile trial that began on November 29.
They argued that between 1994 and 2004, she recruited young girls to be sexually exploited by the American money-manager who died in jail two years ago while awaiting his own trial.
Maxwell, who dated Jeffery Epstein, has been charged with six counts of enticing and transporting underage girls for sexual abuse by the financier
The jury in Maxwell ‘s trial was shown these photos that speak to the close relationship between the pair, which prosecutors have characterize as ‘partners in crime’
The trial heard lurid claims by four women against Maxwell, the daughter of former newspaper baron Robert Maxwell.
Two said they were as young as 14 when Maxwell allegedly began grooming them and arranging for them to give massages to Epstein that ended in sexual activity.
One, identified only as ‘Jane,’ detailed how Maxwell recruited her at summer camp and made her feel ‘special.’
She said sexual encounters with Epstein became routine, with Maxwell sometimes present.
Another, going by ‘Carolyn,’ said she was usually paid $300 after sexual encounters with Epstein, often by Maxwell herself.
A third alleged victim was Annie Farmer, now 42, who said Maxwell fondled her breasts when she was a teenager at the New Mexico ranch owned by Epstein.
The defense has argued that Maxwell was being used as a ‘scapegoat’ for Epstein’s crimes after he evaded justice.
They also quizzed the women’s ability to recollect quarter-century-old events.
Maxwell’s attorneys argued that ‘false memories’ had been implanted into the minds of the women under questioning and due to intense media scrutiny.
The socialite declined to take the stand but made a brief statement to the judge on Friday.
‘Your honor, the government has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt so there is no need for me to testify,’ she said.
The trial had been expected to last into January, but Maxwell now faces the possibility of learning her fate before Christmas Day, her 60th birthday.
She pleaded not guilty to all counts, which carry a total of up to 80 years behind bars.
The six charges against Maxwell:
Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (5 years max sentence)
Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (20 years)
Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (20 years)
Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (10 years minimum, life maximum)
Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Sex Trafficking of a Minor
Ghislaine Maxwell also faces two charges of perjury but those counts are due to be tried after her sex crimes trial.
The charges relate to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed against her by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Prosecutors say Maxwell groomed three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein.
They are not named in the indictment, but she allegedly targeted them in London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.
Maxwell, it is alleged, would befriend the girls by asking them about their life and their schooling. She would put them at ease by taking them to the movies and taking them shopping, winning their trust to later deliver them to Epstein, it’s alleged.
To ‘normalize’ the abuse that would come later, prosecutors say she undressed in front of the girls herself and asked them sexual questions.
She then not only facilitated Epstein abusing them, prosecutors say, but took part in some of it herself.
The alleged sex abuse includes ‘sexualized group massages’.
The indictment also says Maxwell made the girl feel ‘indebted’ to Epstein by encouraging them to take money from him and let him pay for their education and travel.
Source: Read Full Article