Ghislaine Maxwell was an adult woman who became a dangerous predator targeting vulnerable young girls, the prosecution said Monday in closing arguments for the case against the former girlfriend of deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein, who is on trial for allegedly facilitating his sexual abuse of minor girls.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe delivered the prosecution’s closing arguments to the jury in the criminal trial in Manhattan federal court, which began last month and started its fourth week on Monday.
“Ghislaine Maxwell was dangerous. She was a grown woman who preyed on vulnerable kids,” Moe began. “She targeted a girl whose father had just died. She targeted a girl whose mother was an alcoholic.”
“She manipulated her victims and groomed them. She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls,” the prosecutor said, arguing that Maxwell had worked with Epstein to commit “horrifying crimes.”
“It is time to hold her accountable,” Moe told the jurors.
Maxwell, 59, is charged with eight counts related to the sex trafficking of minors over a decade-long period between 1994 and 2004, including sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. A separate, later trial will consider two perjury charges against her.
She has pled not guilty to all counts. If convicted she faces up to 70 years in prison.
On Friday, Maxwell opted not to testify herself in her trial. Her defense team rested its case on Friday.
“Your honor, the Government has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and so there’s no reason for me to testify,” Maxwell told Judge Alison Nathan.
Over the course of the trial, the prosecution painted a picture of a pair of fully-grown adults, Maxwell and Epstein, who were “partners in crime” and had a “playbook” for targeting minors and sexually abusing them.
In addition, although Maxwell allegedly procured the minor girls for the well-connected and wealthy financier, Maxwell herself participated personally in some of the sexual abuse, the prosecution said.
One of the prosecution’s key witnesses, a woman testifying under the pseudonym “Jane,” testified that Epstein and Maxwell abused her together when she was just 14 years old. Maxwell took her on shopping trips, asked her about her life, and discussed sexual topics with her, “Jane” said.
Three other women who say they were groomed or abused by Maxwell also testified. A woman testifying under the name “Kate” told the court that Maxwell set up meetings for girls to give Epstein sexualized massages. Another woman, Carolyn, testifying only under her first name, said that she was 14 when Maxwell touched her breasts and behind and told her she “had a great body for Epstein and his friends.” Annie Farmer, testifying under her real full name, last testified on Friday and said Maxwell massaged her naked breasts when she was 16.
Meanwhile, Maxwell fostered a “culture of silence” working as his “lady of the house” and taking care of his multiple residences, making hiring and firing decisions regarding his staff, and laying down “strict” rules for them, prosecutors said.
The defense is giving its closing arguments Monday afternoon.