US jury resumes deliberations in Maxwell sex crimes trial

New York (AFP) – Jurors in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex crimes trial asked the judge for the legal definition of "enticement" as they resumed deliberations Monday in a case that could see the British socialite spend the rest of her life behind bars.


Maxwell, who turned 60 on Christmas Day, is accused of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The 12-person jury began considering Maxwell's fate on December 20 after a three-week trial and were granted a holiday break from Thursday.

The jury reconvened on Monday morning and sent a note to Judge Alison Nathan requesting highlighter pens, colored post-it notes and a white board.

The jurors also asked for a legal definition of enticement and to review the transcript of testimony given by the ex-boyfriend of "Jane," one of the four women who testified against Maxwell.

One of the six counts Maxwell is charged with relates to enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. Another is conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

US prosecutors argued that the daughter of former British newspaper baron Robert Maxwell was a knowing participant in the conduct of Epstein, who killed himself in a US jail in 2019 while awaiting his own sex crimes trial.

Maxwell did not testify but in a defiant statement to the court said prosecutors had failed to prove her guilt.

The jury must reach a unanimous decision on any of the six counts facing Maxwell if she is to be convicted. If they fail to reach unanimity on any of the charges, the judge could declare a mistrial.

'The key'

The charges against Maxwell stem from 1994 to 2004. Two of Epstein's alleged victims said they were as young as 14 when Maxwell allegedly began grooming them and arranging for them to give massages to Epstein that ended in sexual activity.

The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, where the jury is deliberating in the sex crimes trial of Ghislaine Maxwell
The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, where the jury is deliberating in the sex crimes trial of Ghislaine Maxwell SPENCER PLATT GETTY IMAGES/AFP/File

"Jane" detailed how Maxwell recruited her at summer camp and made her feel "special."

She said sexual encounters with Epstein became routine, with Maxwell sometimes present.

Another, going by "Carolyn," said she was usually paid $300 after sexual encounters with Epstein, often by Maxwell herself.

A third alleged victim was Annie Farmer, now 42, who said Maxwell fondled her breasts when she was a teenager at the New Mexico ranch owned by Epstein.

Prosecutor Alison Moe has argued Maxwell was "the key" to Epstein's scheme of enticing young girls to give him massages, during which he would sexually abuse them.

Maxwell's defense team countered that there was a lack of evidence to convict and questioned the accusers' ability to recollect quarter-century-old events.

The team also argued that Maxwell was being used as a "scapegoat" for Epstein's crimes after he evaded justice.