She’s facing charges, including sex trafficking, conspiracy and enticement of a minor.
The pressure is on as the judge said an astronomical spike of COVID-19 cases in the area could derail proceedings. The jury and trial participants will have to quarantine if anyone involved catches the virus, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
Throughout the trial, 60-year-old Maxwell was at times cheerful when interacting with lawyers and family members like her siblings. She actively passed notes with her attorneys and was seemingly emotional at one point.
She did not take the stand in her own defense, telling the judge, “The government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt, so there is no reason for me to testify.”
Prosecutors argued Maxwell was Epstein’s “right hand” and “the lady of the house,” recruiting and grooming teenagers, some as young as 14 and often from broken homes, to give Epstein massages for money that they allege turned into sexual abuse, sometimes with Maxwell joining in.
That abuse, they say, took place from 1994-2004 at a New York mansion, a Florida estate, a New Mexico ranch and on the U.S. Virgin Islands, with “age-appropriate” Maxwell present at times, they say, to help normalize Epstein’s behavior.
The defense argued Maxwell is not Epstein and that investigators are seeking a scapegoat in his absence, claiming the four women who testified about abuse had flawed memories that were manipulated decades later by lawyers representing them, as they sought millions of dollars in payouts from a special fund set up after Epstein’s suicide to compensate victims.
“She’s being tried here for being with Jeffrey Epstein. Maybe that’s the biggest mistake of her life, but it’s not a crime,” the defense argued.
Prosecutors called the defense’s claim that Maxwell didn’t know about abuse that occurred a “laughable argument,” adding the women “put themselves through the hell of testifying” and “they did it for justice.”
Maxwell, who has been in jail since her 2020 arrest, faces up to 70 years behind bars. Bail was denied repeatedly. There will be a separate trial for two counts of perjury.
The jury told the judge on Tuesday it is making progress in reaching a verdict. The judge has asked the jurors to work Thursday and Friday, which were scheduled days off.