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Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend found guilty

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The verdict fell at the end of the day this Wednesday, December 29. For several days, the jurors deliberated without reaching a consensus. The case is sensitive and scrutinized by the whole world. They finally found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of several sex crimes, including that of “trafficking in underage girls”. She was accused of having aided, facilitated and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s child abuse “, her former spouse.

Billionaire and socialite businessman, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on July 6, 2019. He is accused of having demanded massages from underage young women, who drifted into sexual acts, and of having enlisted some of them to recruit new girls. His trial, scheduled for 2020, never took place. On August 10, 2019, he was found hanged in his cell.

READ ALSO: Epstein case: a third witness and her ex-boyfriend charge Ghislaine Maxwell

Despite what is called ” apparent suicide the investigation continues. On July 2, 2020, it was Ghislaine Maxwell’s turn to be incarcerated. She maintained a relationship with the billionaire in the early nineties and then remained very close to him. Documents attest to these links until 2015. According to the DailyMail, she would be in possession of videos in which several famous personalities engage in sexual acts with minors, brought down by the Epstein system. If found guilty, Maxwell faces up to 80 years in prison.

Damning testimonials

It is to determine her involvement and obtain possible revelations that the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell opened on November 29. The New York prosecutor describes her as a ” sophisticated predator and a key figure in the Epstein case. The jurors must in particular determine whether the accused encouraged Jane (assumed name), one of the alleged victims of the billionaire, to sleep with the latter between 1994 and 1997, when she was aged 14 to 17 years old.

During the hearings, the alleged victim says that Epstein’s ex-girlfriend had recruited her from a summer camp, then flattered her to make her feel ” special “. For her, sex with the billionaire became routine, and Maxwell was sometimes present. Another victim, nicknamed Carolyn and a minor at the material time, evokes a payment of 300 dollars for each meeting with Epstein. A sum received from the hands of the accused.

Disclaimers

From the outset, the sixty-something pleaded not guilty. A line held until the end of the trial. On December 17, during her only speech, she felt that “ the Crown did not provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt, so I don’t need to testify “. A defense strategy that seeks the acquittal of his client, arguing that there is ” no proof of the recruitments and denouncing the “very bad and variable memory” of the accusers.

READ ALSO: Sex trafficking of minors: the difficult testimony of “Jane” at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell

Heavy passive

The 4 complainants in this trial are not the first accusers of Ghislaine Maxwell. As early as 2015, documents made public reveal the words of Virginia Guiffre, an activist for the rights of victims of sex trafficking, who launched the legal machine still in progress today. In her deposition, while she is suing Epstein, she mentions recruitment by Epstein’s ex-girlfriend in 1999. She was also a minor. After being introduced to the billionaire, she would have been trained “ not only to perform massage, but also to give sexual pleasure to them and other people ” according to the Miami herald.

The young woman affirms that the couple prostituted her, with other minors, during sexual orgies organized in the property of the businessman. The file being made public, Maxwell defends himself and calls the complainant a liar. In response, Guiffre is suing Epstein’s ex-girlfriend for defamation in federal court for the Southern District of New York. An arrangement, not made public, is settled in 2017 and Maxwell would have paid him “ millions “, always according to the Miami newspaper, to close the file. They are four to have made similar accusations between 2015 and 2019.

A first Epstein trial

Although Epstein is dead, the system he allegedly set up lies at the heart of the trial. It all started in the heart of the 2000s. In March 2005, the mother of a 14-year-old young woman told the police that her daughter had been taken to the financier’s mansion and paid 300 dollars to have a naked massage.

After 11 months of investigation, the authorities then concluded that Epstein had requested the services of numerous “escorts”, some of whom were minors. The police found many photos of these young girls. The billionaire is said to have installed cameras to record sex between celebrities and prostitutes, with a view to blackmailing them. He was finally charged in May 2006. Not listening to the recommendations of the police, the prosecutors allegedly presented so-called “weak” evidence to the grand jury. The latter only charges Epstein with one count: soliciting prostitutes. He pleaded guilty, was recognized as such in June 2008 and sentenced to 18 months in prison. His release comes after 13 months and the businessman is on the list of sex offenders.

Splashed personalities

If the Epstein affair made noise, it is not so much because of the seriousness of the facts or of his status as a billionaire. The case splashed many prominent public figures. One of the 4 accusers in the Maxwell trial portrays her as ” very impressive (…), I thought I found someone who could be very important to me “. During their meeting, the sexagenarian speaks of Epstein and describes him as ” someone who likes to help young people » and would have said to him « that he had Prince Andrew and Donald Trump as friends “.

A young woman had filed a complaint in June 2016 against Epstein and the American president. The latter went regularly to social events organized by the billionaire. The complainant first alleges that Trump raped her at Epstein’s home in 1994, tied to a bed and beat her. She was only 13 years old. After evoking threats, she withdraws her complaint; an article from Guardian presents it as ” an eccentric anti-Trump activist with a habit of making outlandish claims about celebrities “.

READ ALSO: “Networks of predators”: Secretaries of State Schiappa and Taquet demand “an investigation” in France into the billionaire Epstein

Virginia Guiffre, Maxwell’s accuser in 2015, also reports forced sex with Prince Andrew, the Queen of England’s youngest son, in 2001. She was only 17 at the time. In 2019, the person concerned denied any relationship with the complainant when she was a minor. In his defence, he claims not to have been to the famous evening mentioned by Guiffre and to have proposed, on his own initiative, ” his assistance as a witness to the Department of Justice “. An assertion questioned by the federal prosecutor of Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, who explains that the prince had ” several times refused to set up an interview with the American authorities “. Since then, Prince Andrew has retired from public life, but the Manhattan court plans his hearing before July 2022 to respond to a complaint by Guiffre filed last August.

Suspicions also turn to former President Bill Clinton, reputed to be close to Epstein. Photos released in August 2020 show him being massaged at a Portuguese airport by Chauntae Davies, one of the billionaire’s accusers. This sequence occurred during a layover while Clinton was on board the Lolita Express, Epstein’s private plane. But Chauntae Davies will affirm that the former president would have remained a ” complete gentleman “.

And in France ?

The Epstein system would also have ramifications in France. In 2014, Virginia Guiffre brought charges against Jean-Luc Brunel, director of the modeling agency MC2 Model Management. Since the first accusations of sexual assault in 1988, Epstein has supported him financially. The two men met through Ghislaine Maxwell.

In her complaint, the activist claims that MC2 is a cover for massive sex trafficking. In front of her, Epstein would have boasted “ to have slept with more than a thousand girls of Brunel “. Four years later, she claims that Brunel is one of those Maxwell pushed her to have sex with when she was still a teenager. According to Miami herald, the director of the agency is said to have traveled 25 times on Epstein’s private plane between 1998 and 2005.

On December 17, 2020, he was arrested at Roissy airport and charged with rape of a minor and sexual harassment. Targeted in the investigation into the Epstein network, he is placed under the status of assisting witness and accused of having ” organized the transport and reception of young women on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein “.

The ” apparent suicide Epstein and Maxwell’s silence leave dozens of alleged victims unanswered. But, investigations to dismantle the alleged system set up by the billionaire continue around the world.

READ ALSO: Epstein case: how far will the investigators go?

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