Maxwell and Epstein had been ‘partners in crime’, US prosecutor says

Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial for recruiting and grooming teen women for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse.

Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein had been “partners in crime” within the sexual abuse of teenage women, a prosecutor within the United States has stated, as opening statements had been delivered within the British socialite’s extremely publicised trial in New York.

Prosecutors say that Maxwell – a former worker and romantic accomplice of Epstein’s – despatched presents corresponding to lingerie and mentioned sexual subjects with the ladies to win their belief earlier than encouraging them to offer Epstein erotic massages, in response to the 2021 indictment towards her.

“She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused,” Assistant District Attorney Lara Pomerantz informed the court docket in the course of the prosecution’s opening assertion on Monday.

Maxwell is on trial in Manhattan federal court docket for recruiting and grooming 4 younger women for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Epstein died in jail in 2019 whereas awaiting trial on sex-abuse prices.

The trial comes within the wake of the MeToo motion, which has inspired victims of sexual abuse to talk out towards highly effective males accused of misconduct.

Sarah Ransome, an alleged sufferer of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, was set to testify in New York City court docket [John Minchillo/AP Photo]

Maxwell has pleaded not responsible to eight prices of intercourse trafficking and different crimes, together with two counts of perjury that shall be tried at a later date.

The 59-year-old, who appeared in court docket on Monday sporting a white face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic and steadily wrote in the course of the morning’s proceedings, faces as much as 80 years in jail if convicted on all counts.

Four accusers are anticipated to testify as authorities witnesses in the course of the trial.

Maxwell’s legal professionals have stated that prosecutors, unable to convict Epstein, are utilizing the daughter of late British media magnate Robert Maxwell as a scapegoat.

They even have indicated that they’ll query the credibility of the 4 alleged victims by asking why they waited to return ahead and arguing that they’ve monetary incentives to lie or exaggerate.

On Monday, defence lawyer Bobbi Sternheim stated Maxwell was a “scapegoat for a man who behaved badly”.

Maxwell, she stated, was being blamed for a person’s unhealthy behaviour, simply as so many ladies have earlier than. “She’s not Jeffrey Epstein. She’s not like Jeffrey Epstein” or any of the highly effective males, moguls and media giants who abuse ladies, Sternheim stated.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s legal professionals say that with Jeffrey Epstein lifeless, prosecutors are utilizing Maxwell as a scapegoat [Elizabeth Williams/AP Photo]

“He’s the proverbial elephant in the room. He is not visible, but he is consuming this entire courtroom and overflow courtrooms where other members of the public are viewing,” she stated.

But prosecutors have accused Maxwell of encouraging the ladies to therapeutic massage Epstein whereas they had been totally or partially nude. In some instances, Epstein or Maxwell would pay them money or supply to pay for his or her travel or schooling, and Epstein typically masturbated or touched the ladies’ genitals in the course of the massages, prosecutors stated.

“She was in on it from the start. The defendant and Epstein lured their victims with a promise of a bright future, only to sexually exploit them,” stated Pomerantz, the prosecutor, including that Maxwell “was involved in every detail of Epstein’s life”.

“The defendant was the lady of the house,” she stated.

Even after Maxwell and Epstein stopped being romantically concerned, the pair “remained the best of friends”, Pomerantz added.