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Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Defense opens its case with testimony from former assistant and reminiscence knowledgeable

Jane seemed to be “probably 18” when she met her, Espinosa stated, and Jane’s mom informed staff that Jane was Epstein’s goddaughter. Espinosa testified that Epstein handled Jane properly, so far as she may see.

Jane testified earlier within the trial Epstein sexually abused her — and that Maxwell at occasions joined in on the abuse — each in Palm Beach, Florida, and Manhattan when Jane was 14, 15 and 16 years previous.

Espinosa additionally testified that Maxwell and Epstein had been a “little flirty” and seemed to be in a romantic relationship. In the early 2000s, although, she believed that they had stopped courting and had been now not touring to and from the workplace collectively.

The assistant stated she revered Maxwell, who handled her pretty and properly, and he or she praised Epstein as beneficiant. She stated she’d by no means seen something to counsel Maxwell or Epstein ever behaved inappropriately with underaged women.

The assistant’s testimony got here because the protection started to current its case within the intercourse trafficking conspiracy trial of Maxwell, Epstein’s shut confidante and longtime affiliate. The protection’s case is anticipated to final just some days.

Judge Alison Nathan stated she expects closing arguments to happen Monday, with the case going to the jury afterward.

This would give the jury two full days to deliberate forward of the Christmas vacation.

The prosecution rested its case final Friday after calling 24 witnesses throughout 10 days of testimony. Their case was highlighted by 4 ladies who stated they had been sexually abused by Epstein once they had been below 18 and who stated Maxwell facilitated and typically participated in that abuse.

Prosecutors launched pictures of Maxwell and Epstein embracing and smiling for the digicam through the years, together with a number of exhibiting her massaging his foot. The protection objected to exhibiting the jury these pictures, however the prosecution insisted their shut relationship was central to the case, and the decide agreed.

“Their relevance is self-apparent, given the contents of the photographs,” prosecutor Alison Moe stated. “The relationship between Maxwell and Epstein is central to this case.”

Prosecutors introduced into evidence several photos showing Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein together.

Defense attorneys have argued Maxwell is being scapegoated for Epstein’s actions and have attacked the recollections and motivations of the ladies who say they had been abused.

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not responsible to 6 federal prices: intercourse trafficking of minors, engaging a minor to journey to interact in unlawful intercourse acts, transporting a minor with the intent to interact in legal sexual exercise and three counts of conspiracy.

Epstein, who pleaded responsible in 2008 to state prostitution prices, was indicted on federal intercourse trafficking prices in July 2019 however died by suicide in jail a month later. Maxwell was arrested a yr afterward.

Doctor explains science of reminiscence

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist and professor on the University of California Irvine, testified about false recollections as a part of the protection’s try to broadly undermine the reality of the accusers’ testimony. She testified Thursday that people could be uncovered to misinformation about an occasion after the very fact and incorporate it into their reminiscence, making it inaccurate.

“Even traumatic experiences can be subjected to post-event suggestion that can exaggerate, distort or change the memory,” Loftus stated.

She stated that exterior elements equivalent to substance abuse, marijuana or in any other case have been present in research to impair an individual’s capability to create a reminiscence on the time of an occasion.

She testified that false recollections could be expressed with a excessive diploma of confidence and emotion isn’t essentially an indicator of credibility. “Emotion is no guarantee that you’re dealing with an authentic memory,” she stated.

Loftus has testified for defendants in different high-profile instances, together with within the intercourse assault trial of film producer Harvey Weinstein and the homicide trial of actual property tycoon Robert Durst.

On cross-examination Thursday, she at occasions turned a bit of flustered when questioned about her motives and the suggestion that she was profiting off legal defendants. She turned her head and spoke on to the jury when requested if her work and the media consideration she obtained from testifying for well-known and high-profile defendants raised her profile. She seemed on the jury and stated, “I wouldn’t put it that way.”

Loftus stated she has solely testified as soon as for the prosecution facet within the roughly 300 occasions she’s given knowledgeable testimony for the reason that 1970s.

On cross-examination, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz requested Loftus a few e book she wrote referred to as “Witness for the Defense.”

Pomerantz learn a quick excerpt from the e book that stated, “Should psychologists in a court of law act as an advocate for the defense or an impartial educator? My answer to that question, if I’m completely honest, is both.”

Loftus stated that quote was out the context and there was no additional questioning on the topic.

Judge rejects nameless protection witnesses

Three potential protection witnesses who wished to testify anonymously won’t be allowed to take action, the decide dominated Thursday.

Earlier this week, a protection lawyer informed the courtroom that three protection witnesses requested to testify anonymously or below a pseudonym as a result of they “would possibly get a variety of undesirable consideration.

Judge Nathan rejected that request. She stated an order increasing on that ruling can be posted to the docket later within the day.

Nathan additionally dominated the protection can not search testimony from attorneys for 2 of the ladies who testified that they had been sexually abused whereas underage. However, the protection can be allowed to name to the stand Robert Glassman, an lawyer for a 3rd accuser who testified below the identify “Jane,” to testify on a slender subject associated to his consumer’s data of how her cooperation would influence her payout with the Epstein Victim Compensation Fund.

CNN’s Kara Scannell contributed to this report.

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