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Ghislaine Maxwell preyed on young girls for abuse, prosecutor says

·2-min read
Ghislaine Maxwell preyed on young girls for abuse, prosecutor says

Ghislaine Maxwell targeted young girls for the sexual abuse of Jeffrey Epstein, a US prosecutor claimed in her opening statement in the New York trial.

The British socialite, 59, has been accused of allegedly sending gifts – including lingerie – and discussed sexual topics with girls between 1994 and 2004 to win their trust before encouraging them to give Epstein erotic massages, according to the 2021 indictment against her.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of sex trafficking and other crimes, including two counts of perjury that will be tried at a later date.

“She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused,” Assistant District Attorney Lara Pomerantz said in the prosecution’s opening statement.

Prosecutors said Maxwell encouraged the girls to massage Epstein while they were partially or fully nude.

Defense lawyer Bobbi Sternheim points toward Ghislaine Maxwell standing beside Jeffrey Pagliuca during a pre-trial hearing on charges (REUTERS)
Defense lawyer Bobbi Sternheim points toward Ghislaine Maxwell standing beside Jeffrey Pagliuca during a pre-trial hearing on charges (REUTERS)

They also said Epstein or Maxwell would pay them cash or offer to pay for their travel or education while Epstein sometimes masturbated or touched the girls’ genitals during the massages.

Epstein died behind bars in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Maxwell faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on all counts and her trial comes amid the wave of the #MeToo movement which has rocked Hollywood to its core.

She appeared in court wearing a face mask.

Four accusers will testify as government witnesses in the much-talked about trial.

Maxwell’s lawyers have said prosecutors have been using the daughter of late British media magnate Robert Maxwell as a scapegoat as they were unable to convict Epstein

“Left with no fish to attempt to fry, the government belatedly turned to Ms. Maxwell,” her lawyers wrote in a Feb 4 filing.

Maxwell’s lawyers have indicated they will question the credibility of the four alleged victims by asking why they waited to come forward and arguing that they have financial incentives to lie or exaggerate.

“Any accuser who testifies that Ms. Maxwell participated in sex abuse or sex trafficking is not telling the truth,” Maxwell’s lawyers wrote in court papers.

Read More

What the papers say – November 30

‘Dangerous’ Ghislaine Maxwell preyed on girls for Epstein to molest, court told

Ghislaine Maxwell in the dock for the most explosive trial of the decade

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