Ghislaine Maxwell Trial: Who are the alleged victims and what are the charges? | US news

The long-awaited trial against Ghislaine Maxwell, who faces six charges of sex trafficking, begins in New York on Monday.

The charges involve four alleged minor victims and several locations over a 10-year period between 1994 and 2004. The youngest alleged victim was 14 years old at the time.

Maxwell is also facing two cases of perjury, which will be tried separately.

She denies all charges and pleads not guilty.

Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, is at the heart of all the charges. Prosecutors allege Maxwell “assisted, facilitated and contributed” to Epstein’s abuse, which largely took the form of sexualized massage.

Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.  Photo: Sky UK
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Prosecutors claim Ghislaine Maxwell ‘assisted, facilitated and contributed’ to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse Pic: Sky UK

They claim that Maxwell encouraged alleged victims to travel to Epstein’s residences across the United States knowing that it “would result in their care and exposure to sexual abuse”.

More about Ghislaine Maxwell

The defendant is also accused of having participated in group sex with Epstein and an alleged victim.

Epstein died in a New York jail in 2019 in an apparent suicide. He was awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking.

The Epstein-Maxwell relationship

In the 24-page indictment, the government claims that Maxwell was in an “intimate relationship” with Epstein between 1994 and 1997, and that for an extended period (1994-2004) he paid her to manage his properties.

The alleged victims

In the United States, alleged victims of sexual abuse do not automatically have the right to lifelong anonymity as in the United Kingdom. However, the judge in the Maxwell case has ruled that all four alleged victims will be able to use a pseudonym or simply their first name. Judge Alison Nathan said this would avoid press intrusion and personal embarrassment.

  • Alleged victim 1 – (1994-1997) – New York and Palm Beach, Florida

The first suspected victim was about 14 years old when, according to prosecutors, she first met Maxwell.

Maxwell is accused of caring for the young woman by taking her shopping and to the cinema, normalizing abuse by undressing in front of her, and being present and involved in some of Epstein’s abuse.

Defense Attorney Bobbi Sternheim points to Ghislaine Maxwell standing next to Jeffrey Pagliuca during a court hearing on sex trafficking charges in a courtroom sketch in New York City, USA, November 23, 2021. REUTERS / Jane Rosenberg
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Defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim points to Ghislaine Maxwell, who is standing next to Jeffrey Pagliuca during a court hearing on allegations of sex trafficking in a courtroom sketch in New York City

The government claims that this took place in Epstein’s town hall in New York and at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, and that the alleged victim was encouraged to travel between Mr. Epstein’s residences.

  • Alleged Victim 2 – (1996) – New Mexico

The second alleged victim was under 18 when she was flown to Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico at his invitation, prosecutors claim. They claim that Maxwell knew the woman was under 18 and cared for her with shopping and cinema trips and by discussing her school classes.

Maxwell is accused of giving the woman an unsolicited massage while the alleged victim was topless, urging her to massage Epstein.

  • Alleged victim 3 – (1994-1995) – London

Maxwell is accused of befriending the third alleged minor victim in London, and of caring for her by asking about her life and family. Prosecutors allege Ms. Maxwell introduced the woman to Epstein and urged her to give him massage, knowing this would result in sexual abuse.

The location of the alleged abuse is not in the United States, but under U.S. law, crimes committed outside the country can be prosecuted in it if the victim or victims are U.S. citizens. The bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998, for example. prosecuted and prosecuted in a federal court in Manhattan.

We therefore presume alleged victim 3 is a U.S. citizen.

  • Alleged Victim 4 – (2001-2004) – Palm Beach, Florida

The fourth suspected victim lived in Florida, and prosecutors claim she was about 14 years old when she was recruited to give Epstein sexualized massage for money at his mansion in Palm Beach.

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Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother talks to Sky News about his sister, who is awaiting trial on sex trafficking

Maxwell is accused of caring for her by asking about her family and normalizing the abuse by discussing sexual issues and being present when the alleged victim was naked in Epstein’s massage room.

The government says Maxwell was among a number of Epstein employees who called the woman to schedule sexualized massage, paid her hundreds of dollars in cash and encouraged her to recruit other young women.

Prosecutors allege Maxwell and others on Epstein’s payroll sent gifts to the woman, including lingerie. They also claim that Mrs Maxwell invited her to travel with Mr Epstein and help her apply for a passport – both offers were rejected.

The charges

The six charges of sex trafficking relate to charges over 10 years as described above, but in some cases they are linked to specific alleged victims:

Ghislaine Maxwell was released at the hearing
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A court sketch by Maxwell

1) Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sexual acts – The first of the three allegations of conspiracy concerns all four alleged victims and focuses on the fact that the accused is supposed to encourage them to travel so that they could be abused. To prove ‘conspiracy’, prosecutors must convince the jury that Maxwell and Epstein had an agreement to commit the crimes.

The government says Maxwell participated in group sex with Alleged Victim 1 and Epstein in New York and Florida and encouraged her to travel between the two so she could be abused by Epstein.

They allege that Maxwell gave alleged victim 2 an unsolicited massage and urged alleged victim 3 to massage Epstein knowing that she would be sexually abused.

Prosecutors allege Maxwell urged alleged victim 4 to travel outside Florida with Epstein.

2) Enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sexual acts – Travel is again important here. The government says Maxwell “persuaded, persuaded, enticed and forced” Alleged victim 1 to travel from Florida to New York so the young woman could have sex with Epstein.

3) Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity – The second charge of conspiracy also involves all four alleged victims, and touches on similar allegations as the first charge of conspiracy.

Prosecutors allege Maxwell participated in group sex with alleged victim 1 and Epstein in New York and Florida on several occasions. They say Maxwell “lured” her to travel from Florida to New York so that this abuse could take place.

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Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother talks to Sky News about his sister, who is awaiting trial on sex trafficking

Maxwell is also accused of giving alleged victim 2 an unsolicited massage in New Mexico when the young woman was topless.

Prosecutors say Maxwell urged alleged victim 3 to give Epstein massage knowing she would be abused.

Ghislaine Maxwell was released at the hearing
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A court sketch by Maxwell

They also allege that the defendant encouraged alleged victim 4 to travel outside Florida with Epstein.

4) Transport of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity – This indictment focuses mainly on alleged victim 1. Maxwell is accused of arranging for her to travel from Florida to New York several times so that Epstein could sexually abuse her.

5) Conspiracy about sex trafficking – This charge largely relates to alleged victim 4. Maxwell is accused of recruiting her, encouraging her to recruit others, luring her into sexual acts with Epstein, scheduling her massage treatments, sending her gifts and paying her hundreds of dollars in cash.

6) Sex trafficking of a minor – Alleged Sacrifice 4 is partly in focus here. Prosecutors say the defendant “recruited, lured, housed, transported, procured and procured persons under the age of 18” to have sex with Epstein.

Maxwell also faces two charges of perjury (lie under oath), for which she will be prosecuted separately. Both charges relate to a 2016 handover in which Maxwell was questioned outside court but under oath on Epstein. Prosecutors allege she “repeatedly lied” in an attempt to “hide her crimes.”

7) Perjury When asked if she was familiar with a scheme to recruit underage women for sexual massage with Epstein, Maxwell replied, “I do not know what you’re talking about.”

She was asked to “list all the persons under the age of 18 with whom you interacted on any of Epstein’s properties”, to which she replied that with the exception of a 17-year-old attached to the landfill: “I am not familiar with someone I interacted with “.

8) Perjury – Maxwell said under oath that she did not “remember” whether Epstein possessed sex toys. She also claimed she was unaware that Epstein had sex in the 1990s and 2000s with anyone other than her and two women with whom they had threesomes. Ms Maxwell also denied giving any massage:

Q – Is this your testimony that you have never given anyone a massage?

A – I have not given any massage.

Q – You never gave Epstein a massage, is that your testimony?

A – That’s my testimony.

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