The deliberations of the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell suspended until Monday | Regional

NEW YORK (AP) – Ghislaine Maxwell will spend Christmas – and her 60th birthday – in prison without a resolution to her sex trafficking trial as a jury ended Wednesday’s abridged first week of deliberations without reaching a verdict.

The jury completed a second full day of scrutiny of the British socialite’s plight on charges alleging she recruited and groomed teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein for sexual abuse over a 10-year period from 1994 to 2004 The jurors will return on Monday, after the Christmas holidays. , refusing a job offer on Thursday.

As they rose at 4:30 p.m., U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan warned jurors to protect themselves against the coronavirus over the next four days amid a dramatic increase in infections in New York City. Nathan said the Manhattan Federal Courthouse where they met will be subject to more stringent protocols when they meet again and jurors will be required to wear hospital-grade masks, which will be handed out.

“I need all of you here and in good health on Monday,” she said.

More than 89,000 people in New York City have tested positive for the virus during the seven-day period that ended on Tuesday.

Towards the end of the day, jurors demanded to see transcripts of testimony from an accuser, Kate, and Epstein’s former housekeeper Juan Patricio Alessi. Alessi testified that when he worked at Epstein’s sprawling Florida home from 1990 to 2002, he saw “many, many, many” visiting women, appearing in their late twenties, often basking topless. by the swimming pool. He also said two accusers, underage teenagers at the time, were regular visitors to the Epstein Mansion.

Jurors had requested transcripts of the testimony of the other three accusers on Tuesday, the first full day of deliberations. Jurors met less than an hour on Monday after oral argument and instruction took up most of the day.

Maxwell, 59 until Saturday, was arrested in July 2020 and has remained behind bars without bail since. Prosecutors say she trained girls as young as 14 to think it was okay and normal for them to engage in sexualized massages with Epstein, her former boyfriend and possible close friend and employer, sometimes in exchange for $ 100 bills.

For two weeks, prosecutors sought to prove through two dozen witnesses and exposures that Maxwell was Epstein’s crucial catalyst. Prosecutors say she has occasionally joined in the abuse after recruiting girls with promises that Epstein’s wealth and powerful connections could fund and enable their dreams. Often the girls came from cash-strapped families living in desperate or strained circumstances, the government said.

Defense attorneys argue Maxwell is being sued as a scapegoat after the sex trafficking charges against Epstein were dissolved with his 2019 suicide in a Manhattan federal prison while awaiting trial.

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Elna M. Lemons