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Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

Jury in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial seeks details of accuser's testimony

Jury in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial seeks details of accuser's testimony

The jury in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial on Tuesday asked for more details about the testimony of Carolyn, the first name of a woman who said the British socialite set her up for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein when she was 14 years old.

Maxwell, 59, is accused of recruiting and grooming four teenage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. She has pleaded not guilty to six counts of sex trafficking and other crimes.

The jury in federal court in Manhattan began deliberations late Monday afternoon after three weeks of emotional testimony from the four accusers.

Carolyn's case underlies the sex trafficking charge against Maxwell, since she said Maxwell sometimes handed her cash after she gave Epstein erotic massages and sent her gifts from out of state. The sex trafficking charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years, the heaviest of the six counts.

Federal law bars recruiting or transporting anyone under 18 to participate in a "commercial sex act." The trafficking charge does not require the child to be transported across state lines.

In a note to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan on Tuesday afternoon, jurors asked for a portion of a deposition that Carolyn gave to the FBI. Maxwell defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca questioned Carolyn about the deposition on cross-examination, asking why her testimony in some instances differed from what she had earlier told law enforcement.

The deposition itself was never entered into evidence as part of the trial, so Nathan said she could not provide them with it. She said they can review the transcript of Carolyn's testimony about the deposition.

Maxwell's attorneys have focused their defense largely on undermining the credibility of the accusers, arguing that their memories have faded over time and they are motivated by money to cooperate with prosecutors. All four women received million-dollar payouts from a victims' compensation fund run by Epstein's estate.

"They all changed their stories when the Epstein victims' compensation fund was opened up," Maxwell attorney Laura Menninger told the jury during her closing argument on Monday. "That should make you hesitate."

Maxwell's attorneys have also argued that she is being scapegoated for Epstein's crimes because the globetrotting investor - Maxwell's former boyfriend and employer - killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz points at Ghislaine Maxwell during opening statements at the start of her trial on charges of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., November 29, 2021.


A photo of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein is shown as FBI analyst Kimberly Meder testifies during the trial of Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 7, 2021.


Ghislaine Maxwell speaks with her attorneys as she decides whether or not to testify during the trial of Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 17, 2021.


Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell attends her trial for sex trafficking next to defense attorney Christian Everdell in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 20, 2021.


Maurene Comey (not seen) points at Ghislaine Maxwell as she delivers the rebuttal argument for the government during the trial of Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 20, 2021.


Defense attorney Christian Everdell arrives at the court as jury deliberations continue in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in New York City, U.S., December 21, 2021


Defense attorney Jeffrey S. Pagliuca arrives at the court as jury deliberations continue in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in New York City, U.S., December 21, 2021


Defense attorney Laura A. Menninger arrives at the court as jury deliberations continue in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in New York City, U.S., December 21, 2021


Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell embraces her defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim as she enters the courtroom to hear a note from the jury in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 21, 2021.


Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell embraces her defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim as she enters the courtroom to hear a note from the jury in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., December 21, 2021.

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