After Ghislaine Maxwell Spent 60th Birthday in Jail Over Weekend, Jury Goes Back to Work

The jury in Ghislaine Maxwell's New York sex trafficking trial went back to work Monday after the British socialite spent her 60th birthday on Saturday behind bars. The former associate of Jeffrey Epstein is accused of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to participate in sexual encounters with the late financier.

The jury deliberated for two full days last week before adjourning temporarily for the holiday weekend. Upon reconvening on Monday, members requested a white board and different colored sticky notes as they resumed work to determine whether or not Maxwell is guilty of the charges.

Jurors also asked to review the transcripts of some trial testimonies and requested the definition of "enticement," which prompted Judge Alison J. Nathan to refer them back to her legal instructions that she read out before deliberations began.

Prosecutors have accused Maxwell of being a key figure in Epstein's sexual abuse of four women who testified in the Manhattan federal court that they were targeted as teenagers. But Maxwell's lawyers claim that the U.S. government has made her into a scapegoat for Epstein's crimes after he killed himself while awaiting trial in 2019.

Maxwell Jury Continues Deliberations
The jury in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial went back to work Monday after the British socialite spent her 60th birthday on Saturday behind bars. In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, left, wears a court-ordered N95 face mask while her defense team, right, confers during the trial on Monday, December 27, in New York. Elizabeth Williams/AP Photo

Maxwell's lawyers said the memories of her accusers were corrupted by the passage of time and the influence of lawyers steering them toward multimillion-dollar payouts from a fund set up to compensate Epstein victims.

The jury already has asked to review the testimony of the four women, along with former Epstein housekeeper Juan Patricio Alessi. They have given little hint of their overall progress on six charges, including a sex trafficking count that carries a potential penalty of up to 40 years in prison.

On Monday, jurors asked for the transcript of testimony by "Matt," the pseudonym of a television actor who testified that he is the ex-boyfriend of "Jane," the pseudonym of an actor who is one of the four accusers who testified against Maxwell. The judge had ruled that some witnesses in the trial could testify with only first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy.

Matt, who lived with Jane from 2007 to 2014, testified that Jane initially described Epstein as a godfather who helped her family pay bills after her father's illness and death depleted their finances. She was 14 when she met Epstein.

He said she eventually told him that the help Epstein provided "wasn't free" but did not provide any details about what happened.

When he was asked what her demeanor was like when he asked Jane questions about her encounters with Epstein, he testified that she was "ashamed, embarrassed, horrified."

Matt said she also told him that she felt more comfortable in her encounters with Epstein because there was a woman around. Matt said he contacted Jane after Maxwell's July 2020 arrest and asked her if Maxwell was the woman she had referenced as making her feel more comfortable in her dealings with Epstein.

He testified that she confirmed Maxwell was the woman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Maxwell Jury Resumes Work
Ghislaine Maxwell is accused of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to participate in sexual encounters with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. Above, Maxwell attends the ETM 2014 Children's Benefit Gala at Capitale on May 6, 2014, in New York City. Paul Zimmerman/WireImage