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The long-awaited trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, confidant of convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, which opens on Monday, can be compared to an iceberg – many unanswered questions about their alleged business will remain hidden, for now.

Maxwell, a British socialite who insists on her innocence, is unlikely to wonder about allegedly helping Epstein set up “dates” with women over 18 for a constellation of wealthy men. and powerful. She is also unlikely to be questioned about the allegations of a suspected victim who said in a civil lawsuit that Maxwell tricked her into Britain’s Prince Andrew when she was 17. He denied the allegations.

Nor is it likely that the prosecution will be allowed to deepen the social and business relationships of Epstein, a multimillionaire financier, with other bold names like former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, and billionaire l ‘Ohio Leslie Wexner.

Instead, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan of the Southern District of New York limited the scope of federal prosecutors by focusing the case against the now suspicious British socialite specifically on allegations that she helped Epstein recruit and recruit. mistreating four underage girls in the 1990s.

“This is going to be a small part of what happened,” said civil lawyer Dan Kaiser, who represents several alleged victims of Epstein, although none were involved in this particular lawsuit. “It’s a ring that has trapped dozens and dozens and dozens of girls. And Maxwell was an actor in his own right. You could say she was Epstein’s COO.

Opening statements for a trial that is expected to last six weeks begin Monday. And these four women, now adults, will take a stand and testify against Maxwell, prosecutors said.

Epstein was found dead in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking. His death was considered suicide.

“Maxwell was the center of this sex trafficking ring,” alleged Epstein victim Jennifer Araoz told NBC News after Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 from his luxurious hiding place in Bedford, New Hampshire.

NBC News typically doesn’t identify rape victims, but Araoz released an interview in July 2019 in which she said she was 15 when Epstein raped her. She sued Maxwell, claiming that she and other staff “conspired with each other to make possible and otherwise facilitate the sexual abuse and rape of the complainant.” Maxwell has repeatedly denied the charges against her.

Araoz is not among the women expected to testify against Maxwell, all of whom will only be identified at trial by their initials. She is represented by Kaiser.

Ghislane Maxwell’s trial begins Monday.  Epstein’s victims say she was at the heart of his scheme.

Maxwell’s older brother Ian said his sister was a ‘patsy’ and federal investigators only looked into her after Epstein hanged himself.

“They lost it so there has to be someone there to pay the price. There must be the patsy. Ghislaine pays that price and she pays it every day, ”he said in an interview with CBS News in November.

This is not true, prosecutors said.

“Maxwell played a vital role in helping Epstein identify, befriend and prepare minor victims of abuse,” acting US lawyer Audrey Strauss told reporters after Maxwell’s arrest. “In some cases, Maxwell herself participated in the abuse.”

Maxwell faces eight counts relating to alleged efforts to induce minors to travel and engage in unlawful sexual acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in activities sexual offenses and a sex trafficking conspiracy.

If convicted on all counts, Maxwell, 59, being held without bail in a Brooklyn jail, faces years in prison.

In a 24-page second indictment, prosecutors alleged that from 1994 to 2004, Maxwell “aided, facilitated and contributed” to Epstein’s abuse of underage girls by recruiting, grooming and sexually assaulting them. the victims itself.

The victims were only 14 when she and Epstein sexually assaulted them, prosecutors say.

Epstein and Maxwell both knew some of the victims were minors, prosecutors said. And as part of his alleged ploy, according to prosecutors, Maxwell worked with Epstein to entice underage victims to visit his luxury residences around the world.

Ghislane Maxwell’s trial begins Monday.  Epstein’s victims say she was at the heart of his scheme.

The abuse allegedly took place at Epstein’s luxury residences in Palm Beach, Florida; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, prosecutors said.

The youngest daughter of British press baron Robert Maxwell, who drowned in 1991, Maxwell also faces two counts of perjury related to a deposition in a civil case in 2016. The indictment alleges that when Maxwell was questioned about her involvement in the alleged abuse and trafficking, she lied under oath.

But Nathan withdrew those charges of perjury from this trial.

Maxwell was arrested a year after Epstein was arrested at a New Jersey airport after returning from Paris by private jet.

According to a government motion opposing Maxwell’s request for bail, his arrest had some drama.

After FBI agents walked through the door of his New Hampshire home and then ordered his private security guards to open the front door, officers reportedly spotted Maxwell trying to escape .

“Officers saw the accused ignore the order to open the door and instead try to flee to another room in the house, quickly closing a door behind her,” the court documents say.

Officers forced open the door and eventually found Maxwell inside the house, according to the court file.

Her lawyers argued in court documents that she was living in isolation to protect herself and her family members from “relentless and intrusive media coverage.”

In depositions in a civil case, Epstein’s former masseuses, employees and associates painted a portrayal of Maxwell as the primary catalyst for a serial sexual predator.

Epstein’s alleged victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, in a September 2019 interview with “Dateline” said Maxwell lured her to the financier’s web.

At the time, Giuffre said she was working as a locker room attendant at the Trump Resort in Mar-a-Lago and was reading a book on massage therapy when she was “approached by this beautiful, well-spoken woman and well behaved with an English accent, primitive and correct.

“And she says it’s so funny that you read a book about it, because I know this older gentleman who is looking for a traveling masseuse,” recalls Giuffre. “He’s super rich. He flies everywhere.

But at the end of her first visit to Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, Giuffre said, Maxwell had manipulated her into having sex with her boss.

And soon, Giuffre said, she found herself trafficked by Maxwell and Epstein with rich and powerful men like Andrew.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, the fact that Epstein is no longer and that Maxwell has been tried is already a comfort to some of their accusers.

“Now that the ring has been taken off, I know I can’t be hurt anymore,” Araoz said.

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