Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers try to bar prosecutors from calling Epstein accusers ‘victims’

Lawyers defending the British socialite and alleged Jeffrey Epstein associate are asking a US judge to suppress swathes of evidence in her trial for sex trafficking

Independent Staff
Wednesday 20 October 2021 22:32
Ghislaine Maxwell charged with multiple counts of sexual exploitation, US Attorney announces

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell have said they will ask a US judge to ban the prosecution from referring to Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers as “victims” or “minor victims” during her trial for sex trafficking.

In a motion filed in federal court in New York on Monday, Ms Maxwell’s counsel said they intend to submit a sweeping range of motions to suppress evidence that they claim will prejudice a jury.

They will ask the court to block “reference to the accusers as ‘victims’ or ‘minor victims’”, expert testimony from law enforcement witnesses, evidence of alleged past perjury by Ms Maxwell and all evidence related to one of four accusers.

Ms Maxwell is accused of trafficking teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein, a financier and convicted child abuser who died in jail in 2019 after being charged with a sweeping trafficking scheme involving “dozens” of under-age girls.

Prosecutors claim that Ms Maxwell, the daughter of British newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, was a key part of Epstein’s scheme, and one accuser in a previous court case said Maxwell made her Epstein’s “sex slave”.

The Monday motions, first reported by the NBC Universal owned true crime channel Oxygen, build on a memo from Ms Maxwell’s legal team on 12 October.

“A tsunami of reporting in every conceivable form – newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio, video streaming services, podcasts, social media platforms – has broadcast this case locally, nationally, and globally,” the memo said.

“Without a doubt, and without any credible evidentiary basis, Ms Maxwell has been tried, convicted, and condemned in the court of public opinion.”

Ms Maxwell denies the allegations. Her trial is scheduled to begin on 29 November.

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