Former assistant to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein is the primary defence witness to testify in Ghislaine Maxwell trial.
The defence staff for Ghislaine Maxwell – accused of committing intercourse abuse in opposition to minors – has referred to as its first witness, a former assistant to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Cimberly Espinosa, 55, testified in a federal courtroom in New York Metropolis on Thursday that she was employed as a authorized assistant to Epstein’s firm in 1996. She mentioned she then modified roles to work as Maxwell’s government assistant from November of 1996 till 2002.
“We have been collectively nearly every single day,” she mentioned.
Underneath questioning by Maxwell’s lawyer Christian Everdell, Espinosa testified that she labored with a number of different ladies who have been receptionists or government assistants to Epstein and Maxwell.
Espinosa mentioned Maxwell was a demanding boss however that she discovered lots from her.
“I extremely revered Ghislaine,” Espinosa mentioned. “I regarded as much as her very a lot.”
Because the high-profile trial started on November 29, the jury has heard testimony from 4 ladies who mentioned Maxwell groomed them whereas they have been youngsters between 1994 and 2004 for abuse by Epstein.
Maxwell was as soon as Epstein’s girlfriend earlier than turning into a trusted worker.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not responsible to eight counts of intercourse trafficking and different crimes. Her attorneys argue that she is being scapegoated for the late financier’s alleged conduct as a result of he’s lifeless.
Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell whereas awaiting trial on intercourse abuse expenses.
Maxwell’s attorneys have sought to point out that the accusers exaggerated her involvement on the behest of attorneys in search of payouts for the ladies from civil claims in opposition to the Epstein property.
The defence is in search of testimony from attorneys who helped the ladies submit claims to a victims’ compensation fund managed by Epstein’s property. Maxwell’s attorneys mentioned the ladies cooperated with prosecutors as a result of they thought it could profit their civil claims.
The defence staff can be prone to proceed trying to undermine her accusers’ credibility by asserting that the ladies’s reminiscences have light over time.
They plan to name psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, who research how folks’s reminiscences can develop into corrupted over time, as an knowledgeable witness.
The federal government’s case lasted solely two weeks and the defence case might final simply two days. Either side streamlined their witness lists with out revealing why, making the trial finish nicely in need of an authentic six-week estimate. The prosecution rested its case on Friday.