Ghislaine Maxwell is a British socialite most widely known for her association with convicted sex offenders and financier Jeffrey Epstein. In 2012, she founded a non-profit group to protect oceans called The TerraMar Project. A week after the sex trafficking charges against Epstein became public, the project was scrapped on 12 July 2019.
Maxwell was charged with the crimes of sex trafficking and enticement of minors by the US federal government in 2020. Maxwell had also been under investigation for similar crimes in the Caribbean territory.
Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial commenced on the 29th of November 2021 with opening statements.
July 2020 arrest
The FBI arrested Maxwell in Bradford, New Hampshire, on 2 July 2020 through a “stingray” or an IMSI- catcher mobile phone tracking device while she was on the phone with her husband Scott Borgerson and her sister Isabel.
Court trial and detention
Maxwell was charged with the crimes of sex trafficking and enticement of minors by the US federal government in 2020.
On 14th July 2020, the federal judge denied Maxwell bail as “her chances of fleeing were simply too great.” Prosecutors have charged her with a total of six federal crimes, including sex trafficking, enticement of minors, and perjury.
As of 28 April 2021, Maxwell was held in Metropolitan detention center, Brooklyn, New York. Maxwell’s lawyers requested that she be shifted to house arrest under 24- hour surveillance, but Judge Nathan rejected a US$5 million bail package along with the plea stating Maxwell’s “high flight risk.”
The opening statements of the trail
Judge Nathan postponed Maxwell’s trial from May 2021 to 29 November 2021 as her lawyers had argued that the sex trafficking charges added in March 2021 left them with insufficient time for preparation. Maxwell appeared in court on Monday, 15 November 2021. The trial commenced on 29 November with opening statements.
Epstein’s former girlfriend testifies.
Among those who testified on Friday was Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former girlfriend and longtime associate of Mr. Epstein.
Ms. Andersson-Dubin is married to Glenn Dubin, a founder of Highbridge Capital Management. She dated Mr. Epstein in the 1980s and remained friendly with him even after serving a stint in prison on state prostitution charges, beginning in 2008, a bond that has made her and her family a subject of intense media interest since Mr. Epstein’s arrest and death.
Ms. Andersson-Dubin and her husband have denied knowledge of any wrongdoing by Mr. Epstein.
After being subpoenaed, Ms. Andersson-Dubin testified for the defense, said her lawyer, Tatiana R. Martins.
Ms. Andersson-Dubin testified that she had dated Mr. Epstein on and off from about 1983 until 1990 or 1991. She remained friendly with him after that, she said, and the two were regularly in touch. She added that she was comfortable with the relationship between Mr. Epstein and her three children, who referred to him as “Uncle F.”
Her testimony was limited to an apparent effort by Ms. Maxwell’s lawyers to rebut claims by government witnesses.
The latest on the jury deliberations
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, who is presiding over the case, said Tuesday that jurors might need to deliberate each day this week and over the weekend if a verdict isn’t reached, over concern that the surge in Covid-19 cases in New York City could disrupt the trial. She said she was concerned about an “escalating risk” that jurors or trial participants may need to quarantine because of the spread of the Omicron variant.
The verdict is yet to be read.
The jurors ended deliberations Tuesday without reading a verdict. They have deliberated for four whole days.