The judgment against Ghislaine maxwell, the British heiress accused in the United States of capturing teenagers for the mogul Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse them, begins this Monday in a Manhattan court more than a year after her arrest.
Prosecution says it will prove Maxwell helped Epstein –who committed suicide in a New York cell in August 2019 after being accused of sex trafficking of minors- to “recruit, prepare and ultimately abuse” young victims, in some cases 14 years old.
Specifically, they ensure that physically moved the young women to be abused by Epstein, for which she is accused, among other charges, of sex trafficking of minors and inciting a minor to travel to participate in illegal sexual acts.
The case has received enormous media attention because several important figures from the world of politics and entertainment have been linked to Epstein and his sexual exploitation of minors, including Prince Andrew of England – currently accused in another case in New York by one of the alleged victims of the businessman – and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
Some of the first images in which Maxwell and Epstein appear together date from 1992, and it is believed that soon after they began a romantic relationship.
Later, Maxwell, who faces up to 80 years in prison if found guilty, would go on to become his assistant, and according to the indictment, he began helping Epstein recruit young girls for him to sexually abuse them beginning in 1994, something that would have happened until 2004.
The 59-year-old Briton has been behind bars in a Brooklyn correctional facility since her arrest at a mansion in rural New Hampshire in July 2020. after remaining a year unaccounted for, following the Epstein suicide.
Daughter of the controversial businessman who owned the tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror, Robert Maxwell, the defendant has repeatedly claimed to be innocent during previews, despite which he has been denied bail on several occasions due to the high risk of flight, given the important connections it has and the three nationalities it possesses (British, French and American).
Recently, Maxwell’s brothers have denounced in a letter to the UN that his detention is “arbitrary” and that he has been “erroneously in solitary confinement for about 500 days”, for which his right to defense and his presumption of innocence have been violated.
On November 16, the process officially began with the selection of the jury, which the judge in the case, Alison Nathan, decided to be public, despite the fact that Maxwell’s lawyers had asked that it be done behind closed doors to avoid giving greater publicity to a an extremely high-profile case in itself.
Nathan, however, argued that the first amendment to the Constitution, which protects freedom of the press, prevails.
The gown has dismissed almost all the defense requests, such as lifting the anonymity of the victims who will testify in the courtroom under a pseudonym, and to protect their identity, it has prohibited the work of the so-called “courtroom artists”, hired to draw cases. media from which photographs cannot be obtained.
Maxwell’s lawyers, François Zimeray and Jessica Finelle, have publicly denounced on several occasions the unsanitary conditions of the prison in which he is located, in addition to a 24-hour surveillance that does not allow him to rest, and emphasize that it is “perceived and treated ”as guilty due to the numerous documentaries, books and articles documenting the allegations against her.
(With information from EFE)
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