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Maxwell’s defence workforce calls first witness in US intercourse abuse trial | Courts Information

Former assistant to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein is the primary defence witness to testify in Ghislaine Maxwell trial.

The defence workforce for Ghislaine Maxwell – accused of committing intercourse abuse in opposition to minors – has known as its first witness, a former assistant to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Cimberly Espinosa, 55, testified in a federal court docket in New York Metropolis on Thursday that she was employed as a authorized assistant to Epstein’s firm in 1996. She mentioned she then modified roles to work as Maxwell’s govt assistant from November of 1996 till 2002.

“We have been collectively nearly each day,” she mentioned.

Beneath questioning by Maxwell’s lawyer Christian Everdell, Espinosa testified that she labored with a number of different girls who have been receptionists or govt assistants to Epstein and Maxwell.

Espinosa mentioned Maxwell was a demanding boss however that she realized rather a lot from her.

Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell whereas awaiting trial on intercourse abuse costs [US Attorney’s Office/Handout via Reuters]

“I extremely revered Ghislaine,” Espinosa mentioned. “I regarded as much as her very a lot.”

Because the high-profile trial started on November 29, the jury has heard testimony from 4 girls who mentioned Maxwell groomed them whereas they have been youngsters between 1994 and 2004 for abuse by Epstein.

Maxwell was as soon as Epstein’s girlfriend earlier than turning into a trusted worker.

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of intercourse trafficking and different crimes. Her legal professionals argue that she is being scapegoated for the late financier’s alleged conduct as a result of he’s useless.

Epstein died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell whereas awaiting trial on intercourse abuse costs.

Maxwell’s legal professionals have sought to indicate that the accusers exaggerated her involvement on the behest of legal professionals looking for payouts for the ladies from civil claims in opposition to the Epstein property.

The defence is looking for testimony from legal professionals who helped the ladies submit claims to a victims’ compensation fund managed by Epstein’s property. Maxwell’s legal professionals mentioned the ladies cooperated with prosecutors as a result of they thought it might profit their civil claims.

The defence workforce can be prone to proceed trying to undermine her accusers’ credibility by asserting that the ladies’s reminiscences have light through the years.

They plan to name psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, who research how individuals’s reminiscences can grow to be corrupted over time, as an knowledgeable witness.

The federal government’s case lasted solely two weeks and the defence case may final simply two days. Either side streamlined their witness lists with out revealing why, making the trial finish effectively wanting an unique six-week estimate. The prosecution rested its case on Friday.

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