The fate of Ghislaine Maxwell in the hands of the jury at her sex trafficking trial

The jury at Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial in New York resumed its deliberations on Tuesday to decide whether the former companion of American financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison, helped the latter to surround himself with young girls so that he sexually exploits them.

In Manhattan federal court, the twelve jurors had already retired for an hour late Monday afternoon to begin their closed session, after a final day of debate devoted to the pleadings of the defense and the prosecution. They met again on Tuesday morning to continue their deliberations.

After three weeks of trial, they must say whether or not Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, was guilty of six crimes, all related to sexual violence committed between 1994 and 2004 by Jeffrey Epstein on four minor victims at the time. facts, which testified at trial.

Suspected of having surrounded himself for years with many young girls, to whom he asked for sexual massages, in his luxurious residences in Florida, New Mexico or in the US Virgin Islands, the multimillionaire had committed suicide in a new prison -Yorkaise in the summer of 2019. An end that caused a scandal, depriving dozens of victims of a trial. A year later, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested.

“Sophisticated predator”

The daughter of Robert Maxwell, the media mogul who died in 1991, faces a lengthy prison sentence if convicted as requested Monday by prosecutor Alison Moe, who portrayed her as a “sophisticated predator” and a key figure of the system set up with Jeffrey Epstein, of whom she was the “partner in love” and “the right arm”. This penalty would be fixed later.

“Epstein loved underage girls, he loved touching underage girls. Maxwell knew it, ”had launched the prosecutor, recalling that three of the four victims confided during the trial that the accused herself had touched their chest, in particular in the luxurious villa of the financier, in Palm Beach, in Florida.

A villa where Ghislaine Maxwell acted as “mistress of the house”, taking care of everything up to the choice of “lotions” and “oils” for Epstein’s massages, which always ended in sexual acts, assured Alison Moe, supporting emails from the accused.

The defense on the contrary pleaded the acquittal, assuring that there was “no proof that Ghislaine Maxwell” recruited only one of the four victims to deliver it to Epstein and castigating “the very bad and variable memory” of the accusers on events over 25 years old.

“No need to testify”

Concretely, the jury must say if Ghislaine Maxwell encouraged one of them, who testified under the pseudonym of “Jane”, to have sexual relations with the multimillionaire between 1994 and 1997, that is to say from his 14 to his 17 years. . Or whether she was guilty of sex trafficking against “Carolyn”, also a minor at the material time, between 2001 and 2004.

Three other of the six counts relate to conspiracies to traffic in sex or to induce minors to have sex with Maxwell.

During her testimony, “Jane” had recounted how the couple approached her near a summer camp in Michigan, then put her at ease, promising to help this young girl from a family. deprived of Palm Beach.

In prison since her arrest, Ghislaine Maxwell has pleaded not guilty.

“Your honor, the prosecution has not provided evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, so I do not need to testify,” she said Friday, for her only speech in three weeks.

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Reference-www.ledevoir.com

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