Ghislaine Maxill will be fighting for her rights at the sex-trafficking trial. A parade of 35 witnesses is also helping.
Court papers reveal the British socialite’s defence could outsize the prosecution case, which had 24 witnesses over two weeks.
They included the four women who accused the 59-year-old of abusing them as teenagers or of ‘serving them up’ to her paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein.
Ahead of defence arguments starting on Thursday, Maxwell’s lawyers surprised observers by saying they expected to hear all 35 of the testimonies in just two or three days.
Three of the three witnesses may not want to testify, as they are all from overseas.
Ghislaine Maxwell (59) is seen in a sketch. In New York City’s sex trafficking trial, cameras are not allowed
Court papers reveal the British socialite’s defence could outsize the prosecution case, which had 24 witnesses over two weeks
Maxwell says she’s being used as a scapegoat by Jeffrey Epstein (the late, pedophile financier for whom she had worked for many years). Epstein killed himself in 2019. Knox wrote that although there’s no doubt Maxwell would be a better fate if Epstein was alive, she’s being charged with the crimes against her and the evidence’s ‘damning.
The fast-paced nature of the defence case – with potentially more than ten witnesses squeezed into each court day – means Maxwell will almost certainly not give evidence. Bobbi Sternheim, defense lawyer
The fast-paced nature of the defence case – with potentially more than ten witnesses squeezed into each court day – means Maxwell will almost certainly not give evidence.
She would be subject to lengthy cross-examination about the luxury lifestyle she led with Epstein.
Instead, the jury is likely to hear from Maxwell’s acquaintances and potentially family.
Maxwell could be sentenced to 80 years in prison if she is found guilty on six counts of sex trafficking. Her lawyers will launch Maxwell’s defense case.
Her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said in a letter to Judge Alison Nathan: ‘Three of the defence witnesses have requested to testify under their first names or under a pseudonym. The court’s ruling on this issue may impact the willingness of these witnesses to testify, thereby compromising Ms Maxwell’s right to present her defence.
‘We are still trying to make travel arrangements for defence witnesses, many of whom are coming from locations out of the district and abroad.’
Public release of names has not been made available to defense witnesses.
Annie Farmer was one of four accused in Ghislaine Maxill’s sex-trafficking case. She took the stand Friday. Farmer is the sole accuser to give evidence under her actual name. She described how she met Maxwell in New York when she was 16 years old. She described how Epstein took her to Santa Fe, New Mexico and where she met Maxwell.
Maxwell was accused of being a sexual predator and the prosecution resigned on Friday. Her accusation of arranging for schoolgirls’ abuse to happen by Epstein herself and Maxwell is not true. The alleged offences took place at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, dubbed the ‘house of sin’, and at other properties. Miss Sternheim has told the jury that women have been taking the blame for the sins of men ‘since the age of Adam and Eve’. Maxwell has denied six charges of sexual trafficking children.
At the weekend, her brother Ian Maxwell stated that Epstein died in Manhattan in 2019, while in Manhattan jail awaiting trial.
He said his sister believed that Robert Maxwell was their father. He was found dead off the Canary Islands, in 1991.
But Mr Maxwell told the Americano podcast: ‘I don’t buy a lot of the conspiracy theories at all.’
Chief medical examiner Dr Barbara Sampson ruled that the cause of Epstein’s death was suicide. He was 66.