Here are the latest developments in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking trial

Written by Amy Beecham

The sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the sometime girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein is currently underway in New York.  

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and sometime girlfriend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, remains underway in New York as she faces charges related to her alleged involvement in American financier Epstein’s sex crimes. She is charged with six counts, including perjury and enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

In the high-profile case, Maxwell has pleaded not guilty. In a US court filing ahead of the trial, lawyers for Maxwell wrote that she “has always vehemently denied that she was involved in illegal or improper conduct related to Epstein”.

On 30 November, the second day of the trial, her first accuser, who identified only as “Jane”, took the stand and testified that Maxwell was in the room when Epstein sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old.

The graphic testimony described how she met the couple at a summer camp and was invited into Epstein’s world, only to be subjected to sexual abuse over a period of years.

Jurors were told that the abuse would happen once every two weeks when she was aged between 14 and 16 and she travelled with them 10 times to New York and Santa Fe.

Asked if there was ever anyone else in the room when there was sexual contact with Epstein, Jane replied: “Ghislaine Maxwell.”

Jane said the sexual interactions were “very casual” and “like it was no big deal”. She said Maxwell instructed her on how to give Epstein sexual massages and sometimes physically participated in the encounters as well.

The accuser also told the court she received a $2m (£1.5m) payment from a victim fund set up by Epstein’s estate.

Epstein’s former pilot Lawrence Visoski also gave evidence on the same day before Jane took to the stand, telling the court that Maxwell was Epstein’s “Number 2” in his hierarchy of operations.

Visoski also said that Prince Andrew – who was friends with Epstein but has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to – travelled on Epstein’s jet.

However, he told the court he never saw sexual activity or signs of it, such as sex toys or condoms, adding he also never saw anyone who he believed was underage, saying “they looked like mature women”.

Visoski also claimed to remember meeting another alleged victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, in the “mid to late 90s,” and who has since accused Prince Andrew of sexual abuse,which he has consistently denied. “She was on the airplane a couple times,” he said in court. “I couldn’t guess the quantity.”

Maxwell is claimed to be a key figure within the ongoing sex trafficking investigations surrounding Jeffrey Epstein. Back in 2019, Epstein was charged by federal prosecutors with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

Epstein was known to associate with high-profile politicians including Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, numerous celebrities, and other people in the public eye.

Epstein, a convicted sex offender, killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial is currently underway in New York

Maxwell herself has been accused of helping Epstein “recruit, groom and ultimately abuse” multiple girls, including one as young as 14, between 1994 and 1997, according to an indictment.

It is also alleged that Maxwell participated in some of the abuse and lied about her conduct when questioned under oath in 2016 in a lawsuit.

This story will be updated as the trial continues.

Images: Getty

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