Prosecutors call Ghislaine Maxwell a ‘sophisticated predator’

Ghislaine Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges. File Photo by Rick Bajornas

Dec. 21 (UPI) — Jurors in the trial of alleged Jeffrey Epstein madam Ghislaine Maxwell began deliberations Monday as prosecutors called her a “sophisticated predator” during closing arguments.

The trial was placed in the hands of the jury of six men and six women with deliberations expected to resume on Tuesday after 12 days of testimony from 30 witnesses and about six hours of closing arguments on Monday.

“Maxwell was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing. She manipulated her victims and groomed them for sexual abuse,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said Monday, according to The New York Times.

The closing arguments largely focused on the testimony of four women — Jane, Kate, Carolyn and Annie Farmer — who told the court that Maxwell helped Epstein sexually abuse them as teenagers.

Moe argued that Maxwell, 59, was motivated by money to participate in Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme and showed the court bank records indicating Epstein had paid Maxwell about $30.7 million between 1999 and 2007, according to the Times.

“Your common sense tells you, you don’t give someone $30 million unless they are giving you exactly what you want, and what Epstein wanted was to touch underage girls,” Moe said.

Moe added that Maxwell “manipulated her victims and groomed them” causing “lasting harm to young girls,” NBC News reported.

The prosecutor described Maxwell as the key to Epstein’s operation, saying they shared a “little black book” containing the phone numbers of young women to massage Epstein and that Maxwell “ran the same playbook again, again and again.”

Maxwell has been jailed in a federal facility in New York since she was arrested in July 2020 and pleaded not guilty to six charges relating to the sex trafficking scheme. She declined to testify in her own defense.

Maxwell’s lawyer Laura Menninger used part of her closing arguments to discredit testimony from witnesses during the trial, which opened three weeks ago, and painted Maxwell as the scapegoat for Epstein — who cannot be prosecuted because he killed himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019.

“Ghislaine Maxwell is an innocent woman wrongfully accused of crimes she did not commit,” said Menninger.

Menninger argued that witnesses had pervasive “lapses in memory” and provided information with logical inconsistencies.

“You need to keep your eye on the thing that the government hasn’t — how these stories have changed dramatically over time,” Menninger said. She conceded that prosecutors “certainly proved” Epstein was a “master manipulator” but said that the court wasn’t trying Epstein.



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