NATIONAL NEWS

Jury gets case in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial

Dec 20, 2021, 3:08 PM
The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse stands in lower Manhattan where the trial for Britis...
The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse stands in lower Manhattan where the trial for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell for child sex-trafficking continues on December 03, 2021 in New York City. The 59-year-old Maxwell is accused of helping the financier Jeffrey Epstein recruit and sexually abuse underage girls for years. If convicted Maxwell could face up to 80 years in prison. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — The fate of Ghislaine Maxwell is now squarely in the hands of a jury.

The jury received the case in Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial just before 5 p.m. Monday, after prosecutors and Maxwell’s defense attorneys delivered closing arguments.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

NEW YORK (AP) — The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell speeded to a finish Monday with a prosecutor labeling her a dangerous and sophisticated predator who recruited and groomed teenage girls to be sexually abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein while a defense attorney told jurors during closing arguments that Maxwell is an “innocent woman.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said Epstein could not have preyed on teenage girls for more than a decade without the help of the British socialite, who she described as the “lady of the house” as Epstein abused girls at a New York mansion, a Florida estate and a New Mexico ranch.

“Ghislaine Maxwell was dangerous,” Moe told jurors, saying Maxwell accepted over $30 million from Epstein over the years. “Maxwell and Epstein committed horrifying crimes.”

Defense lawyer Laura Menninger said prosecutors had failed to prove any charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

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

That portrayal conflicted with Moe’s depiction of Maxwell as a “sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing. She ran the same playbook again and again and again.”

“She manipulated her victims and groomed them. She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls. It is time to hold her accountable,” Moe said.

The summations came at the start of the fourth week of a trial that was originally projected to last six weeks. With a coronavirus outbreak in New York worsening by the day and a holiday weekend ahead, Judge Alison J. Nathan urged lawyers to keep their closings tight so the jury could begin deliberating as early as Monday.

Menninger’s closing revisited a theme defense attorneys pressed at the trial’s start: that Maxwell was made a scapegoat after Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan federal jail cell in August 2019 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial.

“Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein,” Menninger said.

Maxwell, 59, was supported in court by four siblings who sat next to one another in the first row of spectators.

Maxwell has been jailed without bail since her arrest in July 2020. The judge has denied her bail repeatedly, despite her lawyer’s arguments that the pledge of her $22.5 million estate and a willingness to be watched 24 hours a day by armed guards would guarantee her appearance in court.

The closings came after two dozen prosecution witnesses testified, including four women who say they were abused by Epstein with the help of Maxwell when they were teenagers.

Moe faced the jury as Maxwell, in a white sweater, sat behind her at the defense table and wrote notes, occasionally turning the pages of a notebook. Later, Maxwell turned in her chair toward the jury, sometimes pulling down her black mask to sip from a water bottle.

The prosecutor told jurors that Maxwell was a “posh, smiling age-appropriate woman” who provided cover for Epstein’s “creepy” behavior.

She asked them to ignore the testimony of a psychology professor who testified for the defense, saying the testimony that memories can fade over time and be influenced by what people hear, see or read was a “total distraction.”

“These women know what happened to their own bodies,” she said. “Your common sense tells you that being molested is something you never forget, ever.”

But Menninger defended the testimony of the memory expert, citing instances in which Maxwell’s accusers never mentioned the defendant’s name when they first spoke of the abuse they endured from Epstein.

She said the testimony from accusers was manipulated by civil lawyers representing them as they pursued millions of dollars in payouts from a special fund set up after Epstein’s suicide to compensate his victims.

Menninger said the women suddenly “recovered memories that Ghislaine was there.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Taylor Goodridge...
Tyler Kingkade, NBC News

Utah boarding school ignored teen’s sickness complaints before she died, ex-staff say

A Native American teenager who died while attending a Utah boarding school for at-risk youth had been sick in the weeks beforehand, but staff had been trained to assume students would lie about being ill and did not try to bring her to the hospital until the day she died, former staff members said in interviews. 
22 hours ago
Bed Bath And Beyond is in financial trouble...
Paul R. La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond says it can no longer pay its debts

(CNN) — The end could be near for struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, as it warned in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a notice of default from its lender, JPMorgan Chase. Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) plunged more than 20% on the news, to about $2.56 a share. The company […]
22 hours ago
The rotation of Earth's core may have paused, scientists in China have suggested. (Adobe Stock via ...
Lianne Kolirin

Earth’s inner core may have stopped turning and could go into reverse, study suggests

The rotation of Earth's inner core may have paused and it could even go into reverse, new research suggests.
22 hours ago
A worker rings up a customer at a cash register in a Walmart store on January 24, 2023 in Miami, Fl...
Paul Wiseman, Associated Press

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with momentum despite the pressure of high interest rates and widespread fears of a looming recession.
22 hours ago
Chunli Zhao appears for his arraignment at San Mateo Superior court in Redwood City, Calif., on Wed...
Olga R. Rodriguez and Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

Suspect in Half Moon Bay farm killings faces 7 murder counts

A farmworker accused of killing seven people in shootings at two Northern California mushroom farms has been charged with seven counts of murder.
22 hours ago
In an aerial view, San Francisco police officers and F.B.I. agents gather in front of the home of U...
Adam Beam, Associated Press

California judge orders release of footage of Pelosi attack

Footage of the attack on former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband will be released publicly.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Jury gets case in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial