Conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell: Will others be charged? will it tip over? Here are the questions left by the lawsuit | US News
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Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial was touted as the time, after years of waiting, when we would get answers.
In reality, the woman at the center of the case revealed next to nothing, and the drama in court, scheduled to last six weeks, ended in three.
Maxwell took no position, and his defense offered little to counter the claims of the four female victims, beyond suggesting that they were motivated by money and suffered from blackouts.
Prosecutors focused on the accused and the six charges, and redacted large sections of their documentary evidence, including the names of certain third parties.
Maxwell’s conviction is a clear victory for US law enforcement – but it follows decades of failure by the FBI and prosecutors to deal with victims whose lives have been, as one lawyer put it, “diminished and damaged ”.
The trial prompted as many questions as it answered, and it’s unlikely to be the last criminal case in the Epstein saga.
What does the verdict mean for Prince Andrew?
The conviction of a close friend for sex trafficking increases the pressure on the prince, and now Maxwell’s legal fight is over, attention will be focused on the Duke of York’s unrelated civil battle.
Virginia Giuffre, Prince Andrew’s accuser, was not among the four victims in the Maxwell trial. Her name was mentioned almost 250 times in court, however, and photos of the teenage Ms Giuffre were shown to the jury.
The Duke has consistently and vigorously denied claims by Virginia Giuffre that she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17.
The Duke of York was not a significant part of the proceedings, beyond being mentioned as someone who had traveled in Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets.
The fact that the two women depicted in the infamous picture of Prince Andrew – Maxwell and Ms Giuffre – did not testify at the trial ensured there was no revelation about him.
Maxwell’s defense team argued that Ms Giuffre was not called to testify because “she has a lot of credibility issues.”
The court, however, showed an image of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in a lodge on Queen Balmoral’s estate, presumably at the invitation of the Duke.
Unlike Maxwell’s criminal trial, the Duke faces a civil suit from Ms Giuffre where the level of evidence is lower. His next court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Ghislaine Maxwell going to freak out?
Maxwell turned 60 on Christmas Day. Convicted of five of the six counts of sex trafficking, she faces the risk of spending the rest of her life in prison. She may agree to help prosecutors with other investigations in exchange for a reduced sentence – a practice known as “flipping.”
While the prompting is clear, Maxwell may prefer to be loyal to her friends – or she may believe she is innocent.
Post-trial cooperation agreements are rare … and the government may not be interested in engaging with it.
There was no one closer to Jeffrey Epstein than Maxwell, and prosecutors typically recruit smaller figures to get a leader’s conviction. It is not possible in this case.
There may, however, be individuals less involved than Maxwell in the sex trafficking operation, but who sexually assaulted girls knowing they were underage.
Will others be billed?
Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse lasted for at least a decade, and it is estimated that hundreds of women and girls were victimized. Ghislaine Maxwell was an important figure in the sex trafficking operation but did not act alone.
It is possible that the US government is bringing charges against other Epstein employees as well as against men who participated in the abuse of young women.
We don’t know who is cooperating with the FBI, who has reported other allegations of abuse, and what other evidence authorities have uncovered in pursuit of Epstein and Maxwell.
Why have we never heard Ghislaine Maxwell’s story?
It was still unlikely that Maxwell would speak: it would have been risky to face cross-examination.
Yet even without her testimony, the defense team could have exposed their alternate account and version of events. It never happened.
We still have only a limited understanding of the true relationship between Maxwell and Epstein, and his motivations. We don’t know anything about how she feels or how she justifies her behavior.
Why was the defense brief so short?
Ghislaine Maxwell would have paid $ 7 million to his lawyers. In return, they delivered a defense brief that lasted less than two days.
Throughout the trial, the efforts of his legal team focused on questioning the credibility of the four victims, questioning their memories, and suggesting that some were motivated by multi-million compensation deals. of dollars.
Former Epstein employees have since claimed that they too were victims of his abuse, but Maxwell did not make the same argument.
She could have told the jury that she was coerced or was unaware of Epstein’s depraved behavior, or that she closed her eyes and was now sorry.
Instead, Maxwell relied on the jury who did not believe the four victims. It was a bold and confusing choice.
Why did Ghislaine Maxwell stay in the United States?
Maxwell has passports from the United States, United Kingdom, and France. The last of these countries does not extradite its citizens. She also has access to considerable wealth.
Yet prior to his arrest, Maxwell chose not to flee the United States and avoid his likely arrest and possible jail time.
Maybe it was because she believed herself untouchable or because she believed herself innocent.
Had Maxwell run away, it would have reflected director Roman Polanski’s 1978 decision to travel from the US to the UK and then to France shortly before his conviction for illegal sex with a minor.
Polanski is of French nationality and has lived in France and Switzerland ever since.
How did Jeffrey Epstein earn his millions?
We’re still no closer to understanding how Epstein built his wealth so quickly, including private jets and mansions across America, but did so without a clear written record.
Associates accused him of carrying out a Ponzi scheme, committing fraud, and others suggested that he may have been guilty of blackmail.
Victoria’s Secret billionaire owner Les Wexner also claimed that Epstein had “embezzled” $ 46 million of his money.
Epstein’s apparent suicide in prison in 2019 means the chances of us ever getting the truth are slim.
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