JUDGE Alison Nathan asked the jury to deliberate until at least 6pm Tuesday, citing a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in New York City.
The judge expressed concern over the increased threat of the Omicron variant, and said she will update the court on how jury deliberations will move forward.
With a fourth day of deliberations underway, Ghislaine Maxwell may learn her fate soon.
Jurors submitted several requests to the judge, including the legal definition of “enticement,” transcripts of testimony, colored highlighters, post-it notes, and a white board.
Maxwell’s top charge, which is a sex-trafficking count, carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
If convicted on all counts, the socialite could face up to 80 years in prison. She denies all accusations.
Read our Ghislaine Maxwell live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Prosecutor calls Maxwell ‘dangerous’ in closing argument
In her closing argument to the jury, Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe, who is prosecuting the heiress, said: “Ghislaine Maxwell was dangerous.
“She was a grown woman who preyed on vulnerable young kids. Young girls from struggling families.
“She targeted a young girl whose father had just died.“She targeted a girl whose mother was an alcoholic.
Prosecutors released more than 60 photos
As part of the case, prosecutors have released more than 60 photos from a police raid at Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion.
Some of the pictures shown to the jury include Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein kissing, and one that appears to be a nude photo of Maxwell.
What did the victims say during their testimony?
One woman, identified only as ‘Jane’ detailed how Maxwell recruited her at summer camp and made her feel “special.”
She said sexual encounters with Epstein became routine, with Maxwell sometimes present.
Another, going by ‘Carolyn’ said she was usually paid $300 after sexual encounters with Epstein, often by Maxwell herself.
A third alleged victim was Annie Farmer, now 42, who said Maxwell fondled her breasts when she was a teenager at the New Mexico ranch owned by Epstein.
Two dozen prosecution witnesses testified
Before closing arguments were made, 24 prosecution witnesses testified.
Four of those witnesses were women who alleged they were victims of abuse by Epstein with the help of Maxwell.
Prosecutor Alison Moe told the jury: “These women know what happened to their own bodies.
“Your common sense tells you that being molested is something you never forget, ever.”
Indictment against Maxwell
The 17-page indictment against Maxwell accused her of grooming and befriending victims, normalizing inappropriate behavior, being present during abuse to put victims at ease, encouraging victims to accept Epstein’s help, and encouraging victims to engage in sexual activity and taking part herself.
One accuser Jennifer Araoz said Maxwell was at the “center of his sex trafficking ring.”
If convicted on all counts, Maxwell could face up to 80 years in prison.
Maxwell denies all accusations.
What charges is Maxwell facing?
Ghislaine Maxwell faces six charges over her alleged involvement with Jeffrey Epstein:
- Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex act
- Enticement of a minor ‘Jane’ to travel to engage in illegal sex
- Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Transportation of a minor ‘Jane’ with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Sex trafficking conspiracy
- Sex trafficking of a minor – ‘Carolyn’
Maxwell spent her 60th birthday in jail
Maxwell spent her Christmas Day birthday behind bars in a hellhole prison as a jury continues to decide her fate.
The socialite turned 60 on Saturday, which she spent in New York’s notorious Metropolitan Detention Center after jurors were sent home for the holiday.
Defense raises concerns
Defense lawyers pushed back on the judge’s request for jurors to stay an hour later on Tuesday to continue deliberations.
Defense attorney Laura Menninger told Judge Nathan on Monday that suggesting the jury stay later was “beginning to sound like urging them to hurry up.”
Concerns about Covid-19
The judge’s insistence that jurors deliberate through planned off-days for the New Year stems from skyrocketing Covid-19 cases.
Cases in New York City have spiked from an average 3,400 per day around the week of December 12, to 22,000 cases last week, The Associated Press reported.
“We now face a high and escalating risk that jurors and trial participants may need to quarantine,” the judge told lawyers. “We are simply in a different place regarding the pandemic than we were a week ago.”
What is the “Little Black Book”?
Prosecutors allege that an address book containing the contact information of the alleged victims belonged to Maxwell, and that she and Epstein used it.
The court will hear testimony about the book from a former employee at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion.
The judge said after hearing the testimony, she will then decide if the jury can see any of the book.
How long could Maxwell face in prison?
If convicted on all counts, Maxwell could face up to 80 years in prison.
Depending on how the trial goes and whether she is convicted, she could spend the rest of her life behind bars.
When was Maxwell arrested?
Ghislaine was arrested suddenly in July 2020 – and has been held in prison ever since as she was deemed a flight risk.
She has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges for her alleged role in recruiting and grooming four teenagers for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Her attorneys say she is being scapegoated because Epstein is no longer alive.
Deliberations could go into the weekend
Judge Nathan said she must require jurors to continue deliberations every day to avoid a mistrial due to a Covid-19 outbreak.
That could include the weekend, something the defense raised concerns about.
Judge’s response to jury’s request, continued
The judge agreed to send the jury home at the requested time and urged them to protect themselves against Covid-19.
Deliberations will continue at 9am on Wednesday.
Judge’s response to jury’s request
The judge told the jury to prepare to deliberate on Thursday and Friday if there is no verdict on Wednesday.
They were initially scheduled to be off days, according to ABC News Correspondent Aaron Katersky.
Deliberations could go into the weekend because of the “astronomical spike” in Omicron cases, Katersky reported.
Jury asks to go home for the day
Jurors sent the judge a note after hours of quiet deliberations on Tuesday.
“Our deliberations are moving along and making progress,” the note said.
Jurors requested to end deliberations at 5pm and resume at 9am on Wednesday, NBC News Correspondent Tom Winter reported.
What is Ghislaine Maxwell’s net worth?
Ghislaine Maxwell held a high distinction in the high society thanks to her notable wealth.
With a fortune as large as Maxwell’s, sleuths have questioned how she amassed her riches and what she does for a living.
Per Celebrity Net Worth, she is worth $20 million.
Maxwell acquired her wealth from her father, the late business tycoon Robert Maxwell.
What was Jeffrey Epstein’s net worth?
Epstein’s net worth was over $577million, according to a will signed two days before he died.
Details regarding his beneficiaries have not been made public.
Trump on Lolita Express logs seven times
Donald Trump reportedly flew at least seven times on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, according to new documents shown at the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.
The real estate mogul, then a neighbor of Epstein’s in Palm Beach, is named in flight logs as a repeat guest on the notorious luxury plane dubbed the Lolita Express.
The VIP passenger list, which also featured Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew, forms part of the evidence in the case against alleged madam Maxwell.
It was previously reported that Trump had flown on Epstein’s plane from Palm Beach to Newark in 1997.
Epstein is also said to have flown on one of Trump’s private planes.
There is nothing to suggest the former US president did anything wrong or knew of any criminal activity.
Not a peep from the jury
The jury in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial has been deliberating for an estimated six hours today.
There has been no indication that it is close to reaching a verdict.
Trial witness accused of perjury
One of Ghislaine Maxwell’s four accusers may have lied in the witness box, prosecutors were told.
The perjury allegation came from a whistleblower — thought to be another victim of pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting Maxwell, declined to comment on the claim when contacted by The Sun on Sunday.
Maxwell siblings pictured
Ghislaine Maxwell’s siblings, Isabel Maxwell, Christine Maxwell, and Kevin Maxwell, were photographed leaving the courthouse on Tuesday.
The jury has been deliberating for five hours without any requests to the judge.
Maxwell’s response to allegations
The British socialite has repeatedly denied any involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes.
Her spokesperson said “the allegations made against Ghislaine Maxwell are untrue” and she “strongly denies allegations of an unsavoury nature, which have appeared in the British press and elsewhere, and reserves her right to seek redress at the repetition of such old defamatory claims”.
Virginia Roberts’ claims
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, as she’s now known, has claimed she had sex with Prince Andrew in a toilet when she was 17 after he had allegedly plied her with vodka in a posh London club.
The royal has vehemently denied the accusations against him, branding them “false” and “without foundation”.
Who is Virginia Giuffre?
Virginia Giuffre is 38-years-old and from Sacramento, California.
She is married to Robert Giuffre and has three children.
She is known for being a public victim of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, and has allegedly been trafficked to Prince Andrew.
Giuffre is an advocate of justice for sex trafficking survivors, and she created a non-profit organization called Victims Refuse Silence, which is based in the US.