The prosecution case in opposition to Ghislaine Maxwell known as 24 witnesses over ten days, together with 4 accusers, however rested not less than every week sooner than anticipated.
That left the defence scrambling to place collectively its record of witnesses. They now have 35 however not all of them might be known as.
Maxwell‘s legal professionals have additionally taken the extraordinary step of requesting that three witnesses be allowed to testify anonymously, which is very uncommon the place minors or alleged victims of sexual assault aren’t concerned.
On the coronary heart of the defence case is the portrayal of Ghislaine Maxwell as a “scapegoat” for Jeffrey Epstein‘s crimes and her accusers as untrustworthy and motivated by cash.
Here’s what to look out for.
Maxwell’s legal professionals will argue that the passage of time, alongside the extraordinary media scrutiny of this case, has corrupted the reminiscence of the accusers and witnesses.
The defence has already set out its stall, calling up obvious inconsistencies between what accusers stated in court docket and what they instructed investigators in earlier interviews.
On the stand “Jane” – the primary alleged sufferer to testify – recalled being 14 and consuming ice cream on a picnic desk when Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein approached her collectively.
However Maxwell lawyer Laura Menninger questioned her on an FBI deposition which suggests she initially stated Epstein approached her alone.
Menninger additionally prompt Jane had “provide you with” a reminiscence about when she first had sexual contact with Maxwell.
The defence will use their key witness Elizabeth Loftus, a cognitive psychologist who has testified in a whole lot of trials, to inform the jury that recollections of alleged sexual abuse virtually 20 years in the past can’t be trusted.
Motivated by cash?
The cross-examination of the 4 accusers was a precursor to the defence case so we will anticipate their credibility to return underneath sustained assault.
One of many alleged victims, Carolyn, recognized by solely her first title, wiped away tears as she instructed the court docket she got here from a damaged household, with an alcoholic mom and a grandfather who molested her.
Requested why she continued returning to Epstein’s dwelling to provide him “massages,” she stated that the $300 she received for each go to was some huge cash to somebody like her.
Carolyn acquired £2.45m from a compensation fund for Epstein victims.
However we all know from paperwork filed by the defence that they’ll declare she was motivated by cash on the desk to implicate Ghislaine Maxwell and co-operate with the US authorities of their case in opposition to her.
This isn’t about Jeffrey Epstein
Neither aspect seems to be disputing that Jeffrey Epstein was a routine abuser of teenage women.
Epstein died by obvious suicide in 2019 whereas charged with working an unlimited community of younger girls to abuse.
If he had lived, the case in opposition to him would absolutely have been a slam dunk, as a result of it isn’t simply the 4 accusers testifying on this case who say he sexually abused them however dozens extra.
However for the jury, figuring out Maxwell’s guilt, on a legal degree, is a much more advanced query.
We all know from the opening assertion by Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s lead lawyer, that the defence will argue she’s being held answerable for Epstein’s crimes.
“Ever since Eve was accused of tempting Adam with the apple, girls have been blamed for the dangerous behaviour of males,” she stated.
Will the accusers’ legal professionals be on the stand?
The defence workforce stated in court docket filings that they need to put the legal professionals for 3 accusers who testified on the stand.
They are saying they need to ask Jack Scarola, Brad Edwards and Robert Glassman about multi-million greenback funds their purchasers acquired from the Epstein victims fund.
They state they need to ask Edwards – who represents Maxwell accuser “Kate”, a British lady – about whether or not she agreed to co-operate with the case in opposition to Maxwell as a result of she believed it could assist her utility for a particular visa to stay within the US.
“An alleged sufferer’s want for a U-Visa is highly effective proof of motive and bias,” Maxwell’s legal professionals wrote within the letter to Decide Alison Nathan.
The prosecutors have requested Decide Nathan to dam the request, saying it could solely “generate irrelevant proof.”
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Will Ghislaine Maxwell be on the stand?
The entire witnesses who testified about their private experiences of Ghislaine Maxwell have spoken about their first impressions of her.
They’ve, variously, recalled her as very engaging, brunette, effectively dressed, with a correct English accent.
She was a socialite, comfy with the wealthy and well-known, assured sufficient to handle the UN.
The important thing moments from week two of Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial – together with $300 ‘massages’, nude images and the Queen’s cabin
In court docket, she has appeared assured, smiling at occasions, hugging her legal professionals and jotting down notes.
However it’s extremely unlikely she’s going to take the stand herself.
The defence acknowledged its case will probably final 4 days or fewer, a timeframe which would not permit for a rigorous cross examination of the defendant.
Most authorized consultants have stated the potential danger of placing Maxwell on the stand far outweigh the potential achieve, particularly as she can also be going through two extra perjury expenses.