The jury is set to deliberate on Ghislaine Maxwell’s fate as today the prosecution and defense present their closing arguments at her sex trafficking trial.
Maxwell, 59, faces life behind bars if convicted on six counts of soliciting and transporting underage girls for being abused by pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, her former lover and longtime companion.
Closing arguments are expected to take about six hours before the jury is sent to deliberate by the judge in Manhattan Federal Court in New York.
Legal experts believe jurors will reach a verdict by the end of the week because they are unlikely to hang the case on them at Christmas.
It comes amid warnings that if Maxwell is sent, she could start to “call names”.
Ghislaine Maxwell poses for a photo at what appears to be a ski resort. Prosecutors showed dozens of never-before-seen photos of the couple together to convince jurors of their close relationship
Maxwell hears arguments during her trial on Saturday
Maxwell’s siblings Isabel and Kevin attend all the time (pictured on Friday night)
A legal source linked to the case told The Mail on Sunday: “This could be bad news for Prince Andrew and other notables who have hung out with Ghislaine and Jeffrey Epstein.”
She might start to cooperate and tell what she knows in an effort to reduce her imprisonment. We know that prosecutors are looking for other conspirators in connection with Jeffrey Epstein’s pedophilia ring. Ghislaine undoubtedly has information that can help prosecutors in other cases. If she decides to cooperate, her testimony can be devastating. It’s been Epstein’s right hand for years, guess what you know?
Prince Andrew was mentioned three times during the trial, including by an Epstein pilot who testified that he had flown aboard the Lolita Express.
One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts, sued the Duke of York separately in New York, claiming she was forced to have sex with the King on three occasions, including at Maxwell’s home in Belgravia.
Andrew vehemently denies all these allegations.
Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were also appointed in court as Epstein’s partners, as were actor Kevin Spacey and a large number of Wall Street financiers and politicians.
Maxwell’s defense will argue that she is being tried as a replacement for Epstein, who was found hanged in his Manhattan cell while awaiting trial in 2019.
US prosecutors and Maxwell’s lawyers are expected to take between two and three hours each to summarize their case in Manhattan federal court in New York.
Next, Judge Allison Nathan will instruct the 12 jurors on how to consider the charges before ordering them to retire to deliberate their verdict.
They must reach a unanimous decision of conviction. If they cannot agree, the judge can declare the trial invalid.
Prosecutors sought to portray Maxwell as Epstein’s partner in crime in the high-profile trial that began on November 29.
They argued that between 1994 and 2004, she recruited young girls for sexual exploitation by an American money manager who had died in prison two years earlier while awaiting trial.
Maxwell, who dated Jeffrey Epstein, is charged with six counts of soliciting and transporting underage girls for sexual assault by the financier
The jury at Maxwell’s trial were shown these photos of the close relationship between the two, which prosecutors described as “partners in crime.”
The trial heard scathing allegations from four women against Maxwell, the daughter of former journalist baron Robert Maxwell.
Two said they were only 14 when Maxwell began preparing and arranging them to give Epstein a massage that ended with sex.
The first, known only as “Jane,” described in detail how Maxwell recruited her into summer camp and made her feel “special”.
She said sexual encounters with Epstein became routine, with Maxwell on occasion.
Another, speaking of “Caroline,” said she was usually paid $300 after sexual encounters with Epstein, often by Maxwell herself.
The third alleged victim is Annie Farmer, now 42, who said Maxwell fondled her breasts as a teenager on Epstein’s New Mexico ranch.
The defense argued that Maxwell was using a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s crimes after he evaded justice.
They also questioned the woman’s ability to remember events a quarter of a century old.
Maxwell’s lawyers argued that “false memories” were implanted in the minds of the women subject to interrogation and due to intense media scrutiny.
The socialite declined to take the position but made a brief statement before the judge on Friday.
“Your Honor, the government has not substantiated its case beyond reasonable doubt, so there is no need for my testimony,” she said.
The trial was expected to continue in January, but Maxwell now faces the possibility of finding out her fate before Christmas, her 60th birthday.
She pleaded not guilty to all counts of up to 80 years behind bars.
The six counts against Maxwell:
Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sexual acts (5 years maximum penalty)
Temptation of a minor to travel for unlawful sex (20 years)
Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (20 years)
Transfer of a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (10 years minimum, maximum lifetime)
sex trafficking conspiracy
Sex trafficking of a minor
Ghislaine Maxwell also faces two counts of perjury but these charges are due to be tried after her sex crimes trial.
The charges relate to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case brought against her by Epstein’s accuser Virginia Joffrey.
Prosecutors say Maxwell groomed three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein.
They were not named in the indictment, but allegedly targeted them in London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.
Maxwell allegedly would befriend the girls by asking them about their lives and studies. She would have made them feel comfortable by taking them to the movies and taking them shopping, and gaining their trust for later delivery to Epstein, allegedly.
In order to “normalize” the abuse that would come later, prosecutors say she undressed in front of the girls herself and asked them sexual questions.
Prosecutors say she not only facilitated Epstein’s mistreatment of them, but also participated in some of it herself.
The alleged sexual abuse includes “group massages of a sexual nature”.
The indictment also says Maxwell made the girl feel “indebted” to Epstein by encouraging her to take money from him and allowing him to pay for their education and travel.