More than two years after the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, justice is attacking his alleged network.

Monday, the long-awaited trial of the ex-companion of the late pedophile, Ghislaine Maxwell, began in New York with the start of the jury selection.

Notably indicted for sex trafficking of minors, the daughter of Robert Maxwell is accused of having played the "beaters" by recruiting young girls on behalf of Jeffrey Epstein and his entourage.

If the shadow of the pedophile, who committed suicide in August 2019, will hang over this trial, other personalities should closely follow the hearing, including Prince Andrew and the French model agent Jean-Luc Brunel.

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

The daughter of press magnate Robert Maxwell was born in Maisons-Laffitte and has triple French-British-American nationality.

Socialite figure of the jet-set of London and Manhattan, she went into exile in New York in 1991 after the scandal of the embezzlement of pension funds from the family empire and the suicide of her father.

Alternately companion, friend, employee and social facilitator of Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, was arrested in July 2020, after playing hide and seek with the authorities and the media for almost a year afterwards. of the suicide of his ex-companion.

What is she accused of?

Ghislaine Maxwell faces half a dozen charges. In particular, she has been charged with sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, and faces life imprisonment if convicted. The facts denounced date back to the decade 1994-2004. The accusation is based on four anonymous complainants - two of whom were only 14 and 15 years old - who say they were approached by "touts", including Ghislaine Maxwell, near their school or at their work. Then, after cinema sessions or shopping "with girlfriends", the young girls were persuaded, for a few hundred dollars, to come and give a massage, presented as non-sexual, to a powerful New Yorker ready to take their career off the ground. . According to US federal prosecutors,Maxwell was also allegedly involved in the sexual assaults with her boyfriend, either at her home in London or at his home in Manhattan, Florida and New Mexico.

A “proxy” trial?

Ghislaine Maxwell maintains her innocence and pleaded not guilty, denouncing through her lawyers a "trial by proxy".

Despite an agreement reached between Jeffrey Epstein and the federal authorities in Florida, during his first arrest in 2007, protecting those around him from prosecution, a New York judge ruled that Ghislaine Maxwell could be prosecuted in New York.

This point could, however, be challenged on appeal or before the Supreme Court.

The circumstances are different, but Bill Cosby notably succeeded in having his conviction overturned last June under an old agreement with a prosecutor.

Prince Andrew's shadow

Another shadow will hang over this trial: that of Prince Andrew, who met Jeffrey Epstein via Ghislaine Maxwell, target since August of a civil complaint in New York for “sexual assault” filed by an American, Virginia Giuffre.

The Duke of York, who assures that he does not "remember" having met his accuser, struggles to explain the existence of a photo in which we see him smiling, his arm around Virginia Roberts, with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background .

Andrew questioned the authenticity of the document without being able, for the moment, to prove that it was a photomontage.

Virginia Giuffre is not, however, one of the four plaintiffs against Ghislaine Maxwell for this Manhattan criminal trial, and the prosecution will have to be cautious in bringing up other names and cases.

What about Jean-Luc Brunel?

Close - personally and financially - to Jeffrey Epstein, the former model agent Jean-Luc Brunel was indicted and imprisoned in Paris in December 2020 for the rape of Virginia Roberts.

The latter claims to have been delivered to Epstein's relatives, in particular Prince Andrew and Jean-Luc Brunel, when she was a minor, in 2001. Also placed under the status of assisted witness on the aspect of human trafficking, the agent French had affirmed to American lawyers, in 2016, that he had known Ghislaine Maxwell since the 1980s, and that it was she who had introduced him to Jeffrey Epstein in the early 1990s. Links on which the American prosecutors - or the defense of Ghislaine Maxwell - could provide clarification, with an opening of the hearing set for November 29.

World

Epstein case: Ghislaine Maxwell, the billionaire's ex-collaborator, accused in particular of trafficking in minors

World

When Ghislaine Maxwell was alongside Jeffrey Epstein, Frenchman Jean-Luc Brunel was never far away

  • Sexual assault

  • United States

  • World

  • Trial

  • Epstein case

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