The prosecution is investigating the case against Ghislaine Maxwell

Ghislaine Maxwell is being tried, but the case always happens more than her. In search of a way to put Britain’s disgraced heir behind bars for as long as 80 years possible, prosecutors are aiming to remedy the mass failures of the justice system to punish their friend’s crimes. her life: the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. That is why it is shocking –– and tragic –– that the prosecution’s case against Maxwell appears to be weaker than many expected. The list of mistakes made by the prosecution is long. The victim showed up unprepared for the cross-examination. Senior coordinators have yet to be called to testify about Maxwell’s alleged role in Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation. On Tuesday, prosecutors stunned reporters in the court’s observation room by announcing that the government intends to resolve its case by Friday –– weeks earlier than expected. . It all raises one burning question: Will Maxwell be free?

Before the trial opened, I count myself among pessimist Those who expect the case will not provide a full account of Epstein’s alleged crimes or expose the powerful men believed to have participated in his corrupt lifestyle. My views were held throughout the trial. For example, I was very disappointed when prosecutor Lara Pomerantz’ opening statement lasted only 35 minutes (about 10 minutes less than the government’s opening argument in Elizabeth Holmes try cheats, for comparison). I am also surprised that prosecutors did not call an alleged victim their first witness and instead led by Epstein’s pilot. Larry Visoski. The perception in the viewing room was that Visoski testified more like a defense witness, claiming he had never seen Epstein’s sex acts with underage girls or sexual activity on planes.

Testimonies from Maxwell’s alleged victims have become puzzling. On Tuesday, a third accuser testified that Epstein sexually abused her more than a hundred times, starting when she was 14 years old. The woman, identified by the name Carolyn, recounted that Maxwell used to schedule her massages with Epstein and once groped her when she was naked and said she had “a great body for her.” with Mr. Epstein and his friends.” (Carolyn said Maxwell knew she was underage.) In a heartbreaking moment, Carolyn broke down and said, “my soul is broken” for allegedly abusing Maxwell.

Unfortunately, prosecutors did not follow up and asked Carolyn to name Epstein’s friends. Carolyn’s harrowing testimony was also undermined by the prosecution’s apparent lack of preparation. Under cross-examination, one of Maxwell’s attorneys, Jeffrey Pagliuca, expose contradictions in Carolyn’s previous comments on the case. Pagliuca noted that Carolyn did not mention Maxwell’s name once in her first interview with the FBI in 2007. Nor did Carolyn include Maxwell’s name in subsequent lawsuits she filed against Epstein and alleged controller Sarah Kellen. Here’s how a tense exchange plays out:

Pagliuca: Your two lawsuits involving Jeffrey Epstein and Sarah Kellen say nothing about Ms. Maxwell; Correct?
Carolyn: Correct.
Pagliuca: Your statement in 2009 says nothing about Ms. Maxwell, other than the two words that Ms. Comey read, does it?
Carolyn: Correct.

Of course, the absence of Maxwell’s name doesn’t mean that Carolyn’s story isn’t real. Victims of sexual abuse or rape often change their stories as they experience trauma. This episode is often copied by defense lawyers to sabotage the victim’s testimony. But prosecutors should prepare Carolyn to deal with the matter. A similar move took place last week in the testimony of a victim identified as Jane. Another of Maxwell’s attorneys, Laura Menninger, pressed Jane to comment on why her testimony differs from her previous interviews with the FBI. Jane appeared confused by the questions, at one point alleging that the FBI had mistranslated her comments. On Tuesday, the government suffered another embarrassing set of backs when Maxwell’s defense revealed that Jane had called her brother, who is also a government witness, and complained about the cross-examination. . That would have been a violation of the judge’s rules, and now her brother will no longer testify.

The weakest point in the prosecution’s case, however, was the lack of testimony from Epstein’s innermost circle. Prosecutors did not call Epstein’s most famous accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, in the stands, although her name was mentioned several times by other witnesses. Meanwhile, Epstein’s controversial 2007 non-execution agreement listed four alleged perpetrators: Sarah Kellen, Adriana Ross, Lesley Groff, and Nadia Marcinkova (Notably, Maxwell’s name was not included. including). These women can imagine evidence of Maxwell’s role in the alleged sex trafficking. Why didn’t the government gain their cooperation against Maxwell? And if the women don’t cooperate, why doesn’t the government charge them? (The women have denied all charges.) Maybe the government could call one or more people before taking a break.

Of course, it’s unpredictable how the members of the jury will rule – especially since the camera in the viewing room doesn’t show their faces. But given the stakes in the trial, the government certainly hopes for an open and closed case. They had more than 500 days to prepare one, but they failed to do so.

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