Saturday Nov 27 2021
Web Desk

Jeffrey Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell goes on trial

Web Desk
Jeffrey Epsteins associate Ghislaine Maxwell goes on trial

Opening statements Monday are set to launch the much-anticipated sex crimes trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The 59-year-old daughter of the late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell faces an effective life sentence if convicted in New York of sex trafficking minors for Epstein, her former lover who killed himself in prison over two years ago.

Following the death of Epstein -- a multimillion-dollar money manager who befriended countless celebrities, including Britain´s Prince Andrew -- prosecutors vowed to pursue co-conspirators, resulting in Maxwell´s arrest in July 2020.

She has since been held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where she has complained of unsanitary and inhumane conditions.

Maxwell´s alleged crimes occurred between 1994 and 2004, and relate to four unnamed women, including two who say they were just 14 and 15 years old when they were sexually abused.

Prosecutors say Maxwell befriended girls with shopping and movie theater trips, later coaxing them into giving Epstein nude massages at his various residences, during which he would engage in sex acts before giving them money.

US government attorneys say she sometimes participated in the alleged abuse, at her London home and at Epstein´s properties in Manhattan, Palm Beach and New Mexico.

Epstein died aged 66 in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges, in what New York´s official coroner ruled a suicide...AFP