Ghislaine Maxwell to spend 60th birthday in prison as jury sent home for Christmas

US

Ghislaine Maxwell will spend her 60th birthday in prison after the jury deliberating her fate was sent home for Christmas.

The former girlfriend of disgraced billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein turns 60 this Saturday, 25 December, with the jury not expected to return until next Monday.

Jurors ended their second full day of deliberations into the sex trafficking trial on Wednesday by requesting more transcripts of testimonies heard by the court in New York City.

The judge, Alison J Nathan, told them to keep themselves safe and healthy over the festive break amid a surge in coronavirus infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.

Almost three-quarters of new cases nationwide are Omicron, which has seen President Joe Biden respond by making hundreds of millions of rapid home COVID-19 tests available online for free.

When jurors in the Maxwell trial return next week, the judge has said the mandatory wearing of hospital-grade face masks will be among the strict safety protocols in place.

Undated handout photo issued by US Department of Justice of Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein, which has been shown to the court during the sex trafficking trial of Maxwell in the Southern District of New York. The British socialite is accused of preying on vulnerable young girls and luring them to massage rooms to be molested by Epstein between 1994 and 2004. Issue date: Wednesday December 8, 2021.
Image:
Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein in a photo shown in court

The jurors are considering a number of charges against Maxwell, including eight counts of sex trafficking.

More on Ghislaine Maxwell

Maxwell, labelled “dangerous” and a “predator” by the prosecution, is accused of luring vulnerable young girls to massage rooms to be molested by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

The defence has told the court that the British socialite is being prosecuted as a scapegoat as a result of the sex trafficking charges against Epstein being dissolved following his death.

The 66-year-old was found dead in his prison cell in Manhattan in August 2019 while he awaited trial. His death was ruled a suicide.

Maxwell, who has been held in a US jail since her arrest in July last year, denies all charges.

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