Jury resumes deliberations in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial and sends judge a note

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, Photo Date: Undated

By Lauren del Valle and Eric Levenson, CNN

(CNN) -- Jurors in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial started their first full day of deliberations Tuesday in a New York federal court.

Maxwell, a former girlfriend and longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein, has pleaded not guilty to six federal counts, including sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy.

If convicted on all six counts, the 59-year-old faces up to 70 years in prison.

Around 10:10 a.m., Judge Alison Nathan read a note from jurors asking for the transcripts of testimonies from three of the four accusers -- Annie Farmer, Carolyn and "Jane."

Annie Farmer, the only accuser to testify by her full name, testified that she was 16 years old when Maxwell massaged her naked chest at Epstein's New Mexico ranch in 1996.

Carolyn testified that known Epstein-accuser Virginia Roberts first brought her to Epstein's Palm Beach home, introducing her to Maxwell and Epstein around 2001 -- when she was 14 years old.

"Jane," testifying anonymously under a pseudonym, alleged a years-long relationship with Epstein and Maxwell in which she said she endured sexual abuse at times by both and in group scenarios with other adults.

The jury deliberations cap a three-week trial highlighted by testimony from four women who alleged Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them. The women alleged Maxwell facilitated and sometimes participated in that abuse.

The sexual abuse allegedly occurred when the women were younger than 18, and their accusations stretched from 1994 to 2004.

Epstein, an elusive financier who pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died by suicide in prison a month later.

Maxwell was arrested in 2020 and has been held behind bars under close watch since.

At the trial, Jane testified that Maxwell organized sexual massages with Epstein and sometimes joined in the abuse.

"Kate" testified Maxwell set up those sexual meetings.

Carolyn testified Maxwell touched her breasts, hips and butt and told her -- when she was 14 -- she "had a great body for Epstein and his friends."

The three conspiracy charges relate to allegations from all four accusers, though testimony from Kate and Farmer cannot be used on their own. The enticing and transporting counts relate to testimony from Jane, while the child sex trafficking charge -- the most serious of the charges -- relates to Carolyn's testimony.

In its closing argument, the prosecution said Maxwell's close relationship with Epstein and manipulative actions were key to the international abuse scheme at his properties in New York, Florida, New Mexico and the US Virgin Islands.

"A single middle-aged man who invites a teenage girl to visit his ranch, to come to his house, to fly to New York, is creepy," prosecutor Allison Moe told jurors. "But 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 encourages those girls to massage that man, when she acts like it's totally normal for the man to touch those girls. It lures them into a trap. It allows the man to silence the alarm bells."

The defense focused its case on lengthy cross-examinations of the four accusers and attacked their motivations and memories of the alleged incidents. Maxwell declined to testify in her own defense.

In the defense's closing argument, attorney Laura Menninger sought to distance Maxwell from Epstein and suggested he had manipulated her as well. She said the prosecution's case is based on speculation and distracting photos of Maxwell with Epstein, including several that show her giving him a foot massage.

"She's being tried here for being with Jeffrey Epstein, and maybe that was the biggest mistake of her life -- but it was not a crime," Menninger told the jury.

Menninger also went through the testimony of each accuser and highlighted inconsistencies in their timelines and their previous interviews with law enforcement in which two of the victims, Carolyn and "Jane," did not mention Maxwell.

The attorney suggested they misremembered what happened and said they may have changed their stories for money.

"Why would you go decades without mentioning Ghislaine Maxwell and suddenly, when you have your personal injury lawyer, you add her to the mix?" Menninger said.

Prosecutor Maurene Comey rejected those arguments in a rebuttal that alluded to broader societal and economic forces at play in this case.

"The defendant never thought that those teenage girls would have the strength to report what happened. In her eyes, they were just trash beneath her," she said. "Those girls would never stand up to a power couple like Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. And if they did, who would believe them?"

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