The Ghislaine Maxwell trial began with a sentence that attempted to distill the complex case which spans decades and jurisdictions, and pierces the normally secretive world of America’s ultra wealthy elite.
“I want to tell you about a young girl named Jane,” prosecutor Lara Pomerantz told the jury of five men and seven women.
The US federal government’s case against Ms Maxwell, 59, centres around her decades-long relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. It alleges she operated as his enabler in luring vulnerable teenage girls with promises of scholarships, attention and financial assistance for their families, and coerced them into becoming objects for his sexual gratification.
This later expanded to a “pyramid scheme of abuse”, according to prosecutors, in which young girls already in Epstein’s orbit would offer to recruit classmates and friends with the promise of easy money.