Ghislaine Maxwell has rested her defence after just two days after calling the prosecutions arguments against her “unproven”. The 59-year-old has also declined to testify in the sex-trafficking case.
The socialite denies grooming underage girls for abuse by the late Jeffrey Epstein.
In a surprise move, (the case was mooted to last six weeks) the former associate of financier Epstein, today spoke directly to the judge. Pulling her mask down to speak, Ms Maxwell said; “The government has not proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt and so there is no need for me to testify”.
The Briton faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on charges of sex trafficking and perjury.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to six federal charges, including sex trafficking of minors, 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 counts of conspiracy.
Prosecutors have attempted to paint a picture of Ms Maxwell as a predator who coaxed young girls into providing massages with Mr Epstein that later turned sexual.
Over two weeks of testimony, they called 24 witnesses, including four accusers.
Closing arguments are expected on Monday. It’s expected that the Judge in the case will instruct the jury the same day giving them two days to deliberate before court closes for Christmas.
The jury can return to continue deliberating the following week if they have not reached a verdict
Meanwhile thousands have taken to social media to discuss a courtroom artist’s sketch of Ghislaine Maxwell sketching back at her.
Jane Rosenberg is a professional courtroom artist who has covered four decades of notorious trials. She told The Guardian that she doesn’t know why Ghislaine Maxwell has been drawing her back.
“And I’m not going to try to read her mind. Maybe she was just bored coming out of her jail cell. I know her sister sometimes also sketches in court. Maybe the Maxwell family just likes to sketch in their free time.”
“I thought this was funny at first but it’s starting to haunt me,” one person wrote on Twitter. There’s speculation over the reasons behind the move.
“Is Maxwell trolling us? Or sending the artist an ominous message?” wondered another.
But for now, it doesn’t seem to perturb Rosenberg. Maxwell even waves to her sometimes, she admitted to The Guardian. Once she mouthed something, and Rosenberg realised she was saying: “Long day, isn’t it?”
Image via Getty Images