Ghislane Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were “partners in the crime,” prosecutors said Monday when introducing their case to the jury.
“Maxwell was Epstein’s best friend and right-hand man. She was involved in all the details of Epstein’s life,” Assistant US Attorney Laura Pomerantz said in a statement after Judge Alison Nathan instructed the judge in Manhattan federal court this afternoon.
Pomerantz described Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual harassment of teenage girls to establish the involvement of the accused for nearly a decade.
“The defendant helped Epstein find the girls. She helped hire the so-called massage. … Sometimes she was in the room for a massage and sometimes she touched the girl’s body,” the lawyer said.
When Maxwell was not in the room, she said, “she knew exactly what Epstein was going to do when he sent the children into the massage room.”
Ghislane Maxwell’s trial is ongoing
According to the government, the defendant played an “essential role in this scheme” of abusing minors and “she knew exactly what she was doing.… She was setting young girls up to be harassed by predators.”
After the prosecutor’s inauguration, the defendant attempted to paint a completely different scenario for the jury by portraying the defendant as actually “a victim of a bad behavior.”
Bobby Sternheim, the lawyer, told the jury that “Eve has been accused of seducing Adam for apple, women have been blamed for men’s bad behavior, and women are often vilified and punished more than men.”
In their opening statement, the Defense sought to get a jury to separate Ghislane Maxwell from Jeffrey Epstein.
“She’s not like Jeffrey Epstein and she’s not like other men, powerful men, moguls, media giants who abuse women,” Sternheim said.
Sternheim later defamed the four accused in the case.
“Each of the defendants who applied for the fund – as testified here – received millions of dollars from the Epstein estate, and it really made it very easy for these women to always include Ghisline Maxwell about Epstein.”
According to the defendant, Ghislane Maxwell is on trial only because of his association with Epstein.
Who is the real Ghislane Maxwell: Epstein Enable or Pan?
Maxwell’s lawyers continued to reduce the government’s case.
“The case is about memory, manipulation and money. As you can see, the allegations you hear from the mouths of four accused – not the hundreds that the government has asked you to hear – … have happened over the years.
Prosecutors’ case revolves around four women who testify that they were teenage girls from 1994 to 2004 when they were abused by the pair. The defendant, however, seeks to prove that at least two of the alleged victims were 17-year-olds. There they say their events have taken place and, therefore, on the age of consent.
“Now, the age of consent is the most important thing you focus on, and in New York you learn that the age of consent is 17 years,” Sternheim told the judge.
Ghislane Maxwell was brought in and out of court without handcuffs. She wore a cream-colored sweater and black pants for her first appearance for the jury. The defendant admitted her sister, Isabel Maxwell, who was sitting in the first row. When he entered the courtroom in the morning, Maxwell hugged each of his lawyers and then said goodbye separately before escorting the US marshals.
The British socialist is being escorted from the Brooklyn Federal Prison Metropolitan Detention Center to the Manhattan Federal Courthouse every day. The hearing is expected to last six weeks.