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US judge allows Ghislaine Maxwell to call expert on ‘false memories’ to testify at trial

A US judge has allowed British social media site Ghislaine Maxwell to call a psychologist who studies how memories can be distorted over time to testify at her trial on charges of sexual abuse. sex.

Lawyers for Maxwell, who prosecutors have accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse, said they planned to call the psychologist. American Elizabeth Loftus to testify about “false memories” of sexual abuse cases that people can confidently describe. without intentionally lying.

Loftus, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, has testified at hundreds of trials, including as a defense witness in the trial of estate heir Robert Durst and the trial of the former producer Harvey Weinstein on rape and sexual assault charges. Both were convicted.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said she would allow Loftus’ testimony under the order to be released on Monday. Opening statements in the trial began on November 29.

Federal prosecutors asked Nathan to limit Loftus’ testimony, calling some of her comments “unreliable.”

In particular, they cite her opinion that information people hear about an event can change their memories of that event.

Nathan said she will admit to some testimony from Loftus and Park Dietz, another psychologist the defense has given as an expert, without saying which testimony is admissible.

Dietz is expected to refute the testimony of prosecution witness Lisa Rocchio, a psychologist expected to discuss how juvenile sexual abuse victims are “groomed” by attackers. hunt their prey.

Maxwell, 59, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges.

Prosecutors said Maxwell encouraged the girls to give Epstein “sexual massages”.

Epstein died by suicide at the age of 66 in 2019 in a Manhattan cell while awaiting trial on allegations of sexual abuse.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Grant McCool)

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