“This is about the woman?” a passerby asked the camera groups that had assembled outside the Manhattan courthouse early Monday morning.
A line to enter the building extended down the street — a roundabout answer to the question. Yes, it’s about the woman, Ghislaine Maxwell, who, just over two years after Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide while awaiting trial at a nearby federal prison, has finally been put on trial for allegedly playing a key role in decades of an affair. financier’s education.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all the counts she has to face, consists of allegations related to the sex trafficking of minors. Prosecutors demanded that she groomed girls for Epstein’s abuse and sometimes participated in it herself. Reporters and observers applied to four courtrooms — one for the trial itself, the other three to accommodate All media interested in the case—To see when efforts to untangle Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein begin.
In the afternoon, when a jury for the trial had been chosen, Maxwell, wearing a white turtleneck sweater, appeared vivacious as she whispered to her attorneys across the conference table. Assistant District Attorney of the United States Lara Pomerantz presents the government’s opening argument by starting with one of the alleged victim stories.
“I want to tell you about a young girl named Jane,” Pomerantz said. Prosecutors allege that Maxwell and Epstein met Jane when she was 14 years old at a summer camp. “What Jane didn’t know at the time,” Pomerantz continued, “is that this meeting at camp was the beginning of a nightmare that would last for years.”
The prosecution’s case revolved around four of Epstein’s alleged victims. Maxwell “serves them being sexually abused,” Pomerantz said, claiming that Maxwell made them feel safe around her to prepare them for Epstein’s abuse. “They make these girls feel seen,” Pomerantz said. “They make them feel special.”
Pomerantz often refers to Maxwell’s jet-setting, claiming that Maxwell recruited girls as a way to stay close to Epstein and his wealth. “These girls are just a vehicle to support her lifestyle,” Pomerantz said. In closing her remarks, she appeared to be trying to stand by an argument the defense was expected to make about the motives of the victims who received settlements from Compensation Fund for Epstein’s victims.
“These witnesses would pay anything to keep this from happening to them,” Pomerantz said. “They’ll pay anything if they’ve never met the defendant and Epstein.”
Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s lead attorney will indeed continue to question the victim’s motives, but before that, at the start of her roughly hour-long remarks, she’s downsized — as far as possible.
“Ever since Eve tempted Adam with an apple,” Sternheim said as she opened her statement, “women have been blamed for bad behavior by men.”
The defense’s case, as outlined by Sternheim, focuses on payments victims have received and the notion that their memories have been contaminated with time and the larger Epstein scene. “He is not seen,” Sternheim said, “but he is using this entire courtroom and the courtrooms are overflowing.”
At one point, Sternheim began describing Maxwell as a “scapegoat” before the prosecution objected three times in a row. Judgment Alison Nathan ruled in a pre-trial conference that arguments about the government’s motives in pursuing the Maxwell case were unacceptable. After Sternheim and four prosecutors conferred with Nathan, Sternheim reverted to a perhaps narrower version of the scapegoat argument: “Four women will enter this courtroom and they will point their fingers at Ghislaine Maxwell.”
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/11/ghislaine-maxwell-trial-opening-arguments Opening arguments in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial Hints of blame and wealth battles, to come