London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Maxwell described as a ‘sophisticated predator’ when she lured girls into Epstein’s trap

The socialite’s relationship with Epstein was closely examined by prosecutors as they closed their case against her at the start of the fourth week of her trial.

Maxwell, who turns 60 on Christmas Day, could faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on sex trafficking and perjury charges. She denies procuring, grooming and abusing underage girls for Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

“Maxwell was conspiring with Epstein to abuse underage girls,” Alison Moe, an assistant US attorney, told the Manhattan court yesterday. “Maxwell sent a teenage girl into a massage room with an adult man. She was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing.

“Maxwell ran the same playbook again and again. She groomed them. She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls. It is time to hold her accountable. The proof is in. It’s clear. It’s consistent and only points to one conclusion: Maxwell is guilty.”

The girls receiving an invitation to spend time with a middle-aged man would have seemed “creepy” and “set off alarm bells” but the presence of Maxwell made them feel comfortable around the late paedophile financier.

Moe continued to add: “Epstein could not have done this alone.When that man is accompanied by a posh, smiling, respectable, age-appropriate woman, that’s when everything starts to seem legitimate. And when that woman acts like it’s totally normal for that man to touch those girls, it lures them into a trap.”

Moe said jurors can believe evidence from Maxwell’s accusers as each account has a striking similarity to the others.

Two accusers, who were identified as “Carolyn” and “Jane”, both described that Epstein would perform same sex acts during “massages”. Another accuser stated that Maxwell touched them sexually.

Moe said “This was not a space for therapeutic massages.” as they showed photos of Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion.

To paint a portrait of Maxwell and Epstein’s “incredibly close” relationship, Jurors saw intimate photos of the two of them. One photo was of them naked in a pool. These photos were not shown to the public gallery.

“What you are looking at in these photos are two people in a sexual relationship,” Moe said. She said they made the environment feel “normal and casual” to young girls.

She added, “None of this was normal”.

Prosecutors said that many of the encounters began as massages before escalating into more. The New York trial has heard testimony from four women. All four of the women said Epstein abused them as teenagers.

Maxwell is a scapegoat for crimes by Epstein, a claim made by Defence lawyers.

Whilst listening to Moe, Maxwell was making notes. 

Her lawyers pressed “Jane” on why she did not come forward about the alleged abuse until she was an adult and noting she did not implicate Maxwell initially.

The jury is expected to retire today. It may reach a verdict before Christmas Day.