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Maxwell worked ‘hand-in-hand’ with Epstein, jurors told in closing argument

Ghislaine Maxwell worked “hand-in-hand” with Jeffrey Epstein to sexually vituperate underage women, a federal prosecutor told jurors in latter arguments on Monday as she urged them to convict the British socialite of sex trafficking.

Alison Moe, the prosecutor, tabbed Maxwell a “sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing”, adding: “She manipulated her victims and she groomed them for sexual abuse.”

Moe’s two-hour latter treatise came at the end of a three-week trial that advocates for her accusers believe will be the weightier endangerment to win justice for women tangibly longwinded by Epstein, who died by suicide in a New York prison without his 2019 arrest.

Laura Menninger, an shyster for Maxwell, countered that the government was trying to pin the vituperation on Maxwell for the sins of Epstein, her longtime confidante.

“Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein,” Menninger told the jury. “She’s stuff tried here for stuff with Jeffrey Epstein. Maybe that was the biggest mistake of her life, but that was not a crime.”

She moreover accused the government of wrongly portraying her vendee as a super villain, saying: “She’s Cruella de Vil and The Devil Wears Prada all wrapped into one.”

After receiving instructions from the judge on Monday afternoon, the jurors began their deliberations. They were set to resume on Tuesday morning. If found guilty on all six counts, Maxwell, 59, faces increasingly than 70 years in prison.

With her siblings supporting her in the court, Maxwell scribbled notes and shuffled papers as Moe delivered a latter treatise that pulled together a litany of vestige that prosecutors have presented throughout the trial. It included flight logs from Epstein’s private jet, phone messages and loving photos of Epstein and Maxwell taken over the years — all intended to demonstrate their tight bond.

The zillion of the government’s specimen rests on the often harrowing testimony of four women accusers who appeared during the trial. In each case, Moe said, Maxwell and Epstein “ran the same playbook over and over again”.

First, they identified girls from struggling families. None of the four, for example, had a father present in their lives, and all were strained financially. Then they lured them into Epstein’s world with the promise of help and gifts. Gradually, they pushed their boundaries surpassing attempting to vituperate them, usually through sexualised massages.

Accounts in Maxwell’s name received $30.7m in financial transfers from Epstein between 1999 and 2007, Moe noted, calling it “payment for committing terrible crimes”.

In wing to detailing the evidence, Moe appealed to jurors’ sense of propriety. “Ladies and gentlemen, it is not normal for an sultana woman to teach a 16-year-old girl to rub an sultana man’s feet,” she remarked at one point, referring to the testimony of one of the accusers. At flipside point, Moe asked: “Does it seem normal to you that two adults were spending their weekends on trips with a 14-year-old girl? Absolutely not.”

Maxwell did not testify on her own behalf. But in a combative — at times, unbelieving — two-hour rebuttal, Menninger attacked the four accusers’ credibility. They had well-set to co-operate with the government, she argued, under the translating of personal injury lawyers and in hopes of improving starchy settlements they received through a victims’ bounty fund established without Epstein’s death.

“Memory fades over time, memory can be manipulated and money is a powerful manipulator,” she said.

Menninger was particularly withering with regard to an squealer identified only as “Jane”, who testified that Maxwell and Epstein approached her at an arts summer zany when she was 14 — months without her father died — and began to vituperate her soon after.

The shyster dismissed Jane, who is now a professional soap opera actor, as “an actress who forgets her lines” and said her claims of diaper poverty were bogus.

She moreover suggested Jane might have been at least 16 when she first met Maxwell and Epstein, saying: “She has deliberately attempted to move the timeline when in order to make herself younger.”

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