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Jury may weigh whether Ghislaine Maxwell avoided knowledge of Epstein’s acts, judge says By Reuters

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© Reuters. Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein affiliate accused of intercourse trafficking, sporting a borrowed oversize coat sits in entrance of her brother Kevin Maxwell and sister Isabel Maxwell throughout a charging convention in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., D

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By Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The jury in Ghislaine Maxwell’s intercourse abuse trial may weigh whether the British socialite “consciously avoided” knowledge of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged encounters with teenage women, the judge within the case mentioned on Saturday.

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Maxwell, 59, faces eight counts of intercourse trafficking and different prices.

Prosecutors say Maxwell recruited and groomed 4 youngsters to have sexual contact with the late financier between 1994 and 2004. Three of the accusers testified on the trial that Maxwell herself inappropriately touched them once they have been youngsters.

Closing arguments within the case are set to start on Monday. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan would then give the jury directions earlier than deliberations start.

Maxwell has pleaded not responsible, and her attorneys argue she is being scapegoated as a result of Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 whereas awaiting trial on intercourse abuse prices. They have sought to distance their shopper from Epstein, whom she dated and labored for many years in the past.

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During a Saturday convention, Maxwell’s protection objected to a proposed instruction that the jury may convict her in the event that they conclude she intentionally ignored any prison habits by Epstein.

They argued that since prosecutors elicited testimony from ladies who mentioned Maxwell was instantly concerned with Epstein’s alleged acts, the jury can’t even be informed that “aware avoidance” was proof of guilt.

“This appears to be right here as some type of backup possibility,” Maxwell legal professional Christian Everdell mentioned. “The principle they’re continuing on is that she’s an energetic participant. They cannot have it each methods.”

But Nathan mentioned that because the protection had implied in its Nov. 29 opening assertion that Maxwell, regardless of her closeness with Epstein, was unaware of his alleged habits, it might be honest to incorporate the instruction to the jury.

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