(TheRedWire.com) – The trial of Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend and enabler Ghislaine Maxwell is underway in a Manhattan federal court. Maxwell is facing charges for recruiting underage girls who Epstein allegedly abused from 1994 to 2002. Authorities said Epstein died due to suicide while awaiting trial in a federal detention center in 2019 on charges of sex trafficking.
On Friday, December 3, Maxwell received some good news after the judge in the case ruled pictures taken by police in 2019 weren’t admissible in court. Additionally, the defense severely undermined a supposedly strong prosecution witness’s credibility. The media is treating the case as a sort of surrogate prosecution of Epstein.
Maxwell Gets Some Small Wins
Maxwell and her lawyers were so elated at some good news that Maxwell offered a smile and light hug for her attorney, Bobbi Sternheim. In the first of two wins on Friday, Sternheim fought with the prosecutors who wanted to show the jury numerous pictures of Epstein’s home taken over 25 years.
The judge allowed two images taken by the FBI during a 2005 FBI raid. The first picture displayed a partially dressed girl who appeared to be in early puberty. The judge allowed a second photo showing a young woman laying across Epstein’s lap with her rear end exposed. Epstein pretended to bite her in the photo.
Prosecutors argued the pictures demonstrated Epstein’s lifestyle, contradicting a public persona beneficial to Maxwell’s case. While Judge Alison Nathan agreed to admit the two images, she blocked one from 2019 of Epstein’s New York mansion showing some racy decor in the house. Judge Nathan said the prosecution failed to connect how the 2019 pictures related to events involving the charges against Maxwell from 25 years ago.
The Credibility of Prosecution Put Into Question
In a second win for Maxwell’s defense, defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca seeded doubt concerning the credibility of the manager of Epstein’s Palm Beach house. In sworn testimony, Juan Alessi told the jury Maxwell recruited at least one underage teenage girl from local spas. Yet, Alessi’s integrity was called into question when he admitted he stole $6,300 from Epstein after his employment ended.
Pagliuca asked if there were any more thefts, to which the former house manager said he never stole from Epstein again. The defense attorney rattled the witness, apparently, because Alessi said he couldn’t remember if he stole money twice, something one would likely remember. Pagliuca then asked if Alessi specifically stole from Epstein again to pay for a friend’s immigration papers. At that point, he admitted to taking the money to help his friend.
In a criminal case, all a defendant needs to do is create reasonable doubt. Alessi showed his testimony could change, making it difficult to discern if he was being truthful about the allegations against Maxwell.
The trial is a long way from ending.
Stay tuned for updates as they become available.
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