Maxwell tells judge she will not testify in sex trafficking trial
Ghislaine Maxwell, a close confidante to deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein, told a judge on Friday that she would not be testifying in her sex trafficking trial.
“Your honor, the government has not proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt and so there is no need for me to testify,” the British socialite said, according to Reuters.
Maxwell faces six charges in connection to allegedly helping facilitating a sex trafficking scheme with Epstein. She faces up to 70 years in prison, and she has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in 2019 while awaiting his own trial.
It is considered a risky move for defendants to testify in their own trials given that it can expose them to vulnerabilities when they are being cross-examined by prosecutors.
In U.S. criminal trials, defendants do not have to take the witness stand, according to Reuters; however, some defendants in recent high-profile cases, including Kyle Rittenhouse and ex-officer Kim Potter, have chosen to do so.
Closing arguments are anticipated to begin on Monday, according to the news outlet.
Part of Maxwell’s defense has rested on the idea that the four women who alleged that they suffered sexual abuse by Epstein may have given into “false memories,” according to a psychologist’s testimony.
“False memories … can be very vivid, detailed. People can be confident about them, people can be emotional about them, even though they’re false,” Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist and professor at the University of California, Irvine, noted.
However, prosecutors allege that Epstein and Maxwell acted as “partners in crime. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz claimed that “the defendant and Epstein lured their victims with a promise of a bright future, only to sexually exploit them.”
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