New York, Nov 29 (EFE).- The sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman considered by prosecutors to be the “right hand” of deceased millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, began Monday in a New York court with prosecutors saying that she and Epstein “lured their victims with a promise of a bright future, only to sexually exploit them.”
Saying that Maxwell “was involved in every detail of Epstein’s life,” prosecutors added that she was “the lady of the house.”
The 59-year-old Briton has been in custody since July 2020.
Assistant US Attorney Lara Pomerantz said the socialite and Epstein provided girls as young as 14 with money and gifts, manipulating them into providing “so-called massages” to Epstein, and possibly other men, during which sexual abuse became “casual and normal.”
Maxwell once dated Epstein, a multimillionaire financier, and has been charged with acting as his chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls for him to abuse.
The sexual trafficking charges against her arise from the claims of four women who say the pair sexually exploited them while they were teens between 1994 and 2004.
Maxwell paid close attention to the proceedings in the courtroom, speaking quietly with her attorneys, taking notes and consulting sheets of paper.
Four witnesses as slated to testify for the prosecution.
Maxwell’s legal team and her family members say that Epstein used her as a pawn and she is being prosecuted because of a public desire to hold someone accountable for his crimes.
Defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim said that the accusers “have shaken the money tree, and millions of dollars have fallen their way,” calling her client nothing but a “scapegoat.”
Epstein was found dead in a New York jail cell in August 2019, apparently a suicide, before he was due to be put on trial for sexual trafficking of minors.
The case has received enormous media attention because several important figures from the world of politics and show business have been linked to Epstein, including England’s Prince Andrew, who has been accused in another New York case by one of the financier’s alleged victims, and former US President Bill Clinton