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Crime: Ghislaine Maxwell targeted young girls for abuse, prosecutor says

Maxwell to challenge accusers, seek distance from Epstein at sex abuse trial

  Maxwell to challenge accusers, seek distance from Epstein at sex abuse trial Maxwell to challenge accusers, seek distance from Epstein at sex abuse trialNEW YORK (Reuters) - British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell's defense in her sex abuse trial will focus on undermining her accusers and distancing her from Jeffrey Epstein, the financier for whom she is charged with recruiting underage girls, according to legal experts and court filings.

By Luc Cohen and Karen Freifeld

Ghislaine Maxwell trial in New York © Reuters/JANE ROSENBERG Ghislaine Maxwell trial in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Ghislaine Maxwell targeted young girls for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, a U.S. prosecutor said on Monday in her opening statement in the New York trial of the British socialite.

Between 1994 and 2004, Maxwell - a former employee and romantic partner of Epstein's - allegedly sent gifts such as lingerie and discussed sexual topics with the girls to win their trust before encouraging them to give Epstein erotic massages, according to the 2021 indictment against her.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial in New York © Reuters/JANE ROSENBERG Ghislaine Maxwell trial in New York

"She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused," Assistant District Attorney Lara Pomerantz said in the prosecution's opening statement.

Who Is Maurene Comey? James Comey's Daughter Is Lead Prosecutor in Ghislaine Maxwell Trial

  Who Is Maurene Comey? James Comey's Daughter Is Lead Prosecutor in Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Maurene Comey, assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is one of the lead prosecutors in the case against Jeffrey Epstein's aide.Maurene Comey, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), is one of the lead prosecutors in the criminal case against Maxwell, and had been picked to hold a similar role in the case of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein prior to his death in August 2019.

Epstein died in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-abuse charges.

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of sex trafficking and other crimes, including two counts of perjury that will be tried at a later date. Maxwell, who appeared in court wearing a white face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic, faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins in New York © Reuters/CARLO ALLEGRI Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins in New York

Four accusers are expected to testify as government witnesses in the trial.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen and Karen Freifeld in New York; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Alistair Bell, Will Dunham and Mark Porter)

Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins in New York © Reuters/CARLO ALLEGRI Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins in New York Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins in New York © Reuters/CARLO ALLEGRI Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins in New York

Brother of Maxwell accuser removed as prosecution witness .
The brother of the first woman to take the stand with accusations that Ghislaine Maxwell "groomed" her for sex with Jeffrey Epstein and other powerful men when she was underage has been removed as a prosecution witness for allegedly talking with his sister about her testimony, NBC News has learned. © Provided by NBC News Brian, which is a pseudonym, was removed late Tuesday after he disclosed to prosecutors that he'd spoken with his sister and that she'd used an expletive to describe one of the defense attorneys, sources said.

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