Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins

A jury has been selected to hear the case against Ghislaine Maxwell — Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime companion — who is now on trial, accused of recruiting and grooming young girls for Epstein’s abuse.

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Four women said Maxwell and Epstein preyed on them from 1994 to 2004, The Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors said Maxwell knew that the women, who are now adults, were under the age of consent when she arranged their travel between Epstein’s homes.

Prosecutors said she befriended the girls, asking about their personal lives including school and families. She also took the girls to movies and shopping, before taking their talks to another level that would discuss sexual topics among other acts, authorities said, according to The New York Times.

Epstein killed himself in August 2019 after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. Federal prosecutors said he had paid hundreds of dollars for each encounter to dozens of girls, The New York Times reported.

Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 and has pleaded not guilty, calling the charges “absolute rubbish” with her lawyers and family members saying she is paying “a blood price” to see someone held responsible for Epstein’s conduct, the AP reported.

“The shadow of Epstein is going to loom large here,” Moira Penza, a former federal prosecutor in Brooklyn told The New York Times. “The case is obviously going to be about Maxwell, but he’s going to be right at the center of it as well.”