Everything you need to know about the Ghislaine Maxwell - Epstein Trial
Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial for grooming young women and children girls to be raped and trafficked by the Jeffrey Epstein criminal network. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges from 1994 to 2004.
The charges against Maxwell
Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (a five years max sentence)
Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (a 20 years sentence)
Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (a 20 years sentence)
Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (a ten years minimum to life maximum)
Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Sex Trafficking of a Minor
Two perjury charges.
Charges relate to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed against her by Virginia Giuffre.
Her trial so far has featured the following key moments.
One: Maxwell 'preyed on vulnerable young girls'
During her opening statement, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz described Ghislaine Maxwell as a predator who groomed young women, "She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused," the prosecutor said.
Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim argued that "The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did, but she is not Jeffrey Epstein."
Two: Epstein's pilot admits to flying VIP guests.
In the trial's first witness, Epstein's long-time personal pilot Larry Visoski testified he flew VIPs to luxury locations worldwide. Visoski remembered flying with Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. For now, all three are not facing criminal charges. Larry Visoski described Ghislaine Maxwell as "the number two" in Epstein's operations. His statement to the court was, "Epstein was the big number one.".
A second pilot, David Rodgers, testified that two Epstein accusers had flown with him.
Three: Defence attempt to discredit a witness
The first of four Ghislaine Maxwell's accusers to give evidence at the trial was visibly distressed. She described the painful memories of being sexually assaulted & raped by Epstein when she was 14. Using the pseudonym Jane, the woman reported that Ghislaine Maxwell showed her how Epstein liked to be massaged and sometimes took part in their sexual assaults. The victim said, "Ghislaine was very casual, acting like it wasn't a big deal,"
Ghislaine Maxwell's defense attempted to find inconsistencies in Jane's testimony to discredit the witness. Defense lawyer Laura Menninger stated that Jane now worked as an actress and claimed that she could "cry on command."
Four: Employee 'told not to look Epstein in the eye.'
Epstein's former housekeeper Juan Alessi reported Ghislaine Maxwell controlled every detail in Jeffrey Epstein's Florida mansion. According to Alessi, Maxwell ordered staff only to speak when spoken to and avoid eye contact with Epstein. Staff was given a 58-page instruction manual, warning them to keep Jeffrey Epstein's and Ghislaine Maxwell's activities or whereabouts secret. "I was supposed to be blind, deaf and dumb," Alessi told the court.
Ghislaine Maxwell's legal team attempted to discredit Alessi during cross-examination by challenging his recollection of meeting 14-year-old Jane in 1994.
Five: Epstein's massage table displayed
Prosecutors showed jurors a massage table seized at Jeffrey Epstein's home during a 2005 raid. Prosecutors have stated that Epstein used massages as a "ruse" before sexually assaulting and raping young women and children. Michael Dawson, a detective who took part in the 2005 search, recalled how officers found various sexualized images at Epstein's home. Additionally, prosecutors displayed a photo of a box labeled "Twin Torpedos" that Dawson said contained sex toys and was taken from an upstairs cupboard.
Six: Never-before-seen photos
Prosecutors released a collection of digital photos and documents demonstrating how close Epstein and Maxwell were. From an FBI raid on Epstein's New York home in 2019, the evidence includes several pictures of the two together, sometimes embracing or being intimate with each other. Jurors were shown a photo of Maxwell rubbing Epstein's feet aboard the lolita express. Maxwell's photos were displayed throughout Epstein's Florida mansion. In addition, the collection included a flyer offering jobs to local massage therapists. Among the pictures taken of the pair is one showing them relaxing at Balmoral Castle, the Queen's private Scottish residence.
Seven: Victim testifies about 'hundreds' of Epstein assaults
Carolyn, who called the stand during the trial, said Maxwell had set her up "hundreds of times" for massages with Epstein when she was 14 to 18. She told the court, "Something sexual happened every single time."Ghislaine Maxwell told her she had "a great body for Mr Epstein and his friends" and would pay her after each visit, giving extra when she brought other children with her. The testimony was corroborated by Carolyn's ex-boyfriend at the time, who testified that he often drove her and others to Epstein's house and waited for them to return "a little over an hour later" with money.
Eight: Maxwell 'dressed accuser as schoolgirl for Epstein'
A British woman using the pseudonym Kate cried on the stand as she described a sexual assault by Epstein when she was 14. Kate stated that Ghislaine Maxwell sometimes took part and acted "like it wasn't a big deal," often calling her a "good girl" and asking if she was having fun. On one occasion, Ghislaine Maxwell laid out a schoolgirl outfit on her bed and said: "I thought it would be fun for you to take Jeffrey his tea in this outfit." She said she wore the outfit, and Epstein raped her. Ghislaine Maxwell also asked if she knew any "cute, young, pretty girls" who could be sexually assaulted or raped by Epstein "because it was a lot for her to do."
Nine: Maxwell 'groped 16-year-old in topless massage.'
The last witness to take the stand, Annie Farmer, pointed at Ghislaine Maxwell and reported that she had sexually assaulted her by giving her a topless massage when she was 16 years old. Annie Farmer testified that during a visit to Epstein's New Mexico ranch, Ghislaine Maxwell "pulled down the sheet and exposed my breasts and started rubbing my chest and upper breasts," she told the court. "I was surprised," she said in court. "I wanted so badly to get off of the table" Farmer said she had a "sense" that Epstein - who she says groped and assaulted her on three occasions - was nearby watching.
Ten: Maxwell 'Little Black Book' Censored
Maxwell's 'little black book' will not be made public; the defense and prosecution in her trial have agreed. It is a version of Jeffrey Epstein's 97-page book containing the names and addresses of almost 2,000 world leaders, celebrities, and business people - including Prince Andrew and former US presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. Some of those found in the book have been accused of engaging in the Epstein criminal network. The decision not to include Maxwell's directory in court will significantly boost the defense and protect the identities of potential collaborators in positions of power.
According to prosecutors, between 1994 and 1997, Maxwell groomed three girls for Epstein. The defendants aren't named in the indictment, but she allegedly targeted them in London, Florida, New York, and New Mexico. Maxwell was alleged to have befriended the girls by asking about their lives and schooling. She allegedly put them at ease by taking them to the movies and shopping, earning their trust to deliver them to Epstein later. Prosecutors say she undressed in front of the girls herself and asked them sexual questions to 'normalize' the abuse that would occur later.
Prosecutors say she enabled Epstein to abuse them and took part in some of it. In addition to group massages, the indictment claims that Maxwell encouraged the girls to take money from Epstein and let him pay for their education and travel and make them feel 'indebted' to him.
Ghislaine Maxwell, who has British, US, and French citizenship, has been in prison since her arrest in 2020. Ghislaine Maxwell faces up to 80 years in prison if found guilty and convicted.