Ghislaine Maxwell Is a Tricky Monster, but She Didn’t Fool the Jury
When your partner is a monster, you can appear harmless in comparison. But looks can be deceiving.
In case Ghislaine Maxwell, the jury was not fooled by her benefactor’s relative greater culpability, Jeffrey Epstein, financier and accused of sexual abuse. A federal grand jury on Wednesday found British society conspiring with Epstein to participate in sex trafficking of girls middle 14 year old 1994 and 2004. She was convicted on 5 of the 6 counts, and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum penalty of life in prison, although the actual sentence will be informed by the directions. sentencing is based on a variety of factors. Maxwell also faces a follow-up trial on two counts of perjury, which has been cut from this trial, for allegedly lying in deposits about her claims to know nothing about Epstein’s abuse schemes.
But while this case may involve millionaire jet maker, it’s no different from the horrible human trafficking cases that happen every day in America.
Throughout the three-week trial, the defense used a scapegoat defense, pointing to the figuratively empty chair that Epstein would occupy, if he hadn’t. take your own life in 2019 while in federal custody in this case. Maxwell’s lawyers see Epstein as the driving force behind the human trafficking scheme. That may be true, but that does not mean forgiveness for Maxwell.
In fact, evidence at trial suggests that she was an essential component of the plan.
It was Maxwell who recruited and groomed the victims, gaining their trust and normalizing sexual behavior so they could be taken advantage of. She, as prosecutors argued, “The key to the whole operation. “Her motives for supporting Epstein? Prosecutors pointed to the $30 million Epstein paid her between 1999 and 2007.
The term “sex trafficking” conjures up images of a victim being kidnapped, tied up and locked up against one’s will. In fact, oftentimes, predators use lies and deception to lure vulnerable victims into trusting them before committing sexual abuse. As one expert witness testified at trial, the grooming process can include gift-giving, building trust and attachment through expressions of interest, bringing up sexual topics in the chat and slowly escalate sexual interactions.
In my experience as a prosecutor, I’ve found that traffickers are often seasoned manipulators, who wield power over their victims with a variety of carrots, such as carrots. such as money, cell phones, clothing and illegal drugs. They also use sticks, such as shaming and threats of disclosure or physical harm. For a troubled teen, it can be difficult even to describe what happened to them, let alone have the courage to tell someone.
Maxwell and Epstein followed this play in their sex trafficking scheme. During the trial, four women testified to a similar form of abuse. Using only their names or aliases, they testified about how Maxwell and Epstein recruitment them in what appeared to be accidental encounters. Prosecutors take note that the couple chose girls from families that were struggling financially; The two are being raised by single mothers.
For his part, Maxwell described Epstein as a “benefactor” who loved to help people. But wealth is just another evil tool of hers.
She builds trust by taking the girls shopping, and shows an interest in their schoolwork and home life. The victims spoke strangely to each other stories about how Maxwell took care of them by talking about sex and teaching them how to massage, which normalized physical touch. Eventually, the massages evolved into sexual encounters with Epstein, for which they received money and gifts. Maxwell will call to arrange sex dates with Epstein, and sometimes Maxwell also participated in the abuse.
At trial, the defense often uses tactic against survivors of sexual abuse, calling their testimony “false memories,” attacking their credibility and portraying them as gold diggers interested only in making money. This time, gambit re-victimized unsuccessfully. Perhaps ordinary people who face a jury are finally wise to the ways of their abusers.
In life, Epstein was a predator. In death, he will not be a scapegoat. Epstein may have been a glutton for young girls as his sex toy, but his guilt didn’t lessen Maxwell’s guilt. As the jury has clearly seen, this is a case of both / and, not / or.
Monsters come in many shapes and sizes.