Ghislaine Maxwell faces six charges related to recruiting and grooming underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein (Pictures: Reuters; Getty)
Ghislaine Maxwell told a federal judge on Friday that she would not be testifying in her own defense at her child sex-trafficking trial in Manhattan.
‘Your Honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and so there is no reason for me to testify,’ Maxwell said as she stood in the courtroom.
US District Judge Alison J. Nathan had asked the British socialite to stand in court while she explained that she had the right to testify in her own defense or decline to. The defense rested its case on Friday, much earlier than expected, as officials initially thought the trial would bleed into the new year.
Maxwell, 59, faces six charges related to recruiting and grooming four underage girls for her once-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 to 2004.
Ghislaine Maxwell watches as witness Eva Andersson is questioned by defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca during her trial (Picture: Reuters)
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty. She was arrested in July 2020, almost a year after Epstein, then-66, was found dead by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting his own sex-trafficking trial.
Her attorney’s have portrayed her as a scapegoat, targeted by the government because prosecutors could no longer hold Epstein accountable for his alleged crimes.
Four women who testified for the prosecution said that Maxwell recruited them to be abused by Epstein when they were teenagers. The defense began its case on Thursday and called several witnesses who said they did not observe inappropriate conduct by Epstein or Maxwell.
Maxwell’s second day of defense got off to a rocky start when it emerged that one witness refused to respond to a subpoena, another said they would take the fifth and a third was not being called.
Four women accuse Maxwell of recruiting and grooming them to be abused by Epstein when they were teenagers (Picture: Getty Images)
The court was then able to hear from Eva Andersson, who had dated Epstein from 1983 until the early 1990s, before he dated Maxwell. Andersson testified for the defense that she never saw any inappropriate conduct between Epstein and teenage girls.
One of the key accusers in the Maxwell trial, who used the pseudonym ‘Jane,’ testified that a woman named ‘Eva’ joined in a group sexual experience with Epstein.
When asked by one of Maxwell’s attorneys if she had ever been in a group sexual encounter with Jane, Andersson replied: ‘Absolutely not.’
Later, however, Andersson acknowledged having issues with her memory upon cross examination.
‘It’s very hard for me to remember anything far back,’ she said. ‘My family notices it, I notice it. It’s been an issue.’
Closing arguments in the trial are set for Monday. Jurors could begin deliberating later that day.
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