Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial is scheduled to proceed to a jury
The sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell in Manhattan is set to begin on Monday, with opening remarks after the selection of the panel of 12 jurors and six alternates.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to six charges stemming from her alleged role in the sexual abuse of juvenile girls by late millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, some of whom were as young as 14.
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The charges include enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, sex trafficking conspiracy, and sex trafficking of a minor.
Minor Victim-1, Minor Victim-2, Minor Victim-3, and Minor Victim-4 are the names of four accusers named in the indictment, however, it is expected that others may testify.
While awaiting trial, Epstein committed suicide in a federal prison in Manhattan in August 2019. According to authorities, Maxwell’s alleged offences occurred between 1994 and 2004.
On July 2, 2020, authorities detained the British woman, the daughter of the late press baron Robert Maxwell, at a secluded, wealthy mansion in Bradford, New Hampshire.
Maxwell “had a significant role in helping Epstein discover, befriend, and groom underage victims,” according to Audrey Strauss, acting Manhattan US attorney at the time, and “in certain cases, Maxwell engaged in the abuse.”
Maxwell is accused of “trying to normalise 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,” according to the indictment.
Maxwell has also been charged by the Manhattan US attorney with attempting to conceal her role in Epstein’s crimes by giving false information “under oath” during civil action.
Virginia Giuffre, a longstanding Epstein accuser, filed a defamation complaint against Maxwell in this case. When Giuffre was 17, she claims Maxwell and Epstein forced her into sexual contact with Prince Andrew.
Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Maxwell, who dubbed her a liar. Both Maxwell and the Duke of York insist on being blameless. Maxwell has been charged with two counts of suspected lying. Those will be tried in a different courtroom.