Ghislaine Maxwell's child rape-trafficking trial begins in New York City .
A jury in the Ghislaine Maxwell child rape trafficking trial was selected on Monday, November 29, as prosecutors seek to prove that she lured and groomed children for child rapist and alleged spy Jeffrey Epstein to rape and traffick. Epstein is widely known for his close connections and decades-old relationships with prominent individuals in government, media, and royalty. Many of which, like Prince Andrew who continues to be protected by the UK government, have been repeatedly accused of partaking in the Epstein child rape network.
U.S. prosecutors report that between 1994 and 2004, Ghislaine Maxwell groomed children by taking them to movies, sending them gifts such as lingerie, and discussing sexual topics, according to a 2021 indictment.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to at least eight charges of 'sex trafficking and other crimes, including two counts of perjury that will be tried at a later date. She faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Jeffrey Epstein faced similar charges but allegedly committed suicide while detained in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial.
Twelve jurors and six alternates were selected; U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan excused one planned juror who said his co-workers had figured out that he might serve on Maxwell's jury and had expressed "adamant and passionate" opinions about the case to him. Maxwell's lawyers have said that prosecutors, unable to convict Epstein due to his untimely death or his network of powerful conspirators, are using Maxwell as a scapegoat. "Left with no fish to attempt to fry, the government belatedly turned to Ms. Maxwell," her lawyers wrote in a Feb. 4 filing.
Prosecutors say that Maxwell groomed children and coerced them to massage Jeffrey Epstein while the girls were fully or partially nude. According to the prosecutors, Epstein or Maxwell paid them cash or offered to pay for their travel or education, and Epstein sometimes masturbated or touched the girls' genitals during the massages. Prosecutors wrote in the indictment, "Victims were made to feel indebted and believed that Maxwell and Epstein were trying to help them." Maxwell "was present for and participated in the sexual abuse [rape] of minor victims." Maxwell's lawyers are reported to have indicated that they plan to question the credibility of four victims by examining why they waited to come forward and claim that they have financial incentives to lie or exaggerate. Maxwell's lawyers say, "Any accuser who testifies that Ms. Maxwell participated in sex abuse or sex trafficking is not telling the truth".
Ghislaine Maxwell is the daughter of former billionaire media mogul and triple spy linked to the UK, Israel, and the Soviet Union, Robert Maxwell. Robert also died under mysterious circumstances while facing growing pressure and the possibility of criminal charges for embezzlement.
Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI in July of 2020 after hiding for a long period, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan has denied her four requests for bail, concluding that Maxwell is a flight risk. Those denials have been upheld on appeal, and she has spent the past 17 months in isolation at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), where she has complained about alleged unsanitary conditions.