Defense attorneys rested their case on Friday without the testimony of Ghislaine Maxwell — who told a New York federal judge that prosecutors have not proven she committed sex trafficking.
The defense rested its case a day after presenting evidence and calling witnesses, including one of Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriends. The New York Times reported that the jury was not present when Maxwell, 59, revealed that she would not be taking the stand in her own defense.
“Your honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt so there’s no reason to testify,” Maxwell told U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, who is presiding over the high-profile case.
Maxwell, who was arrested in July 2020 in New Hampshire, is accused of grooming at least three underage girls, as young as 14, for Epstein, 66, to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997. She has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other related charges.
Epstein was jailed without bond in July 2019 following allegations that he sex-trafficked dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005. The billionaire financier was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on August 10, 2019 — sparking skepticism about the circumstances surrounding his death.
According to The Times, the defense rested its case on Friday. Federal prosecutors also said they had “no further case.”
Closing arguments will take place on Monday. The judge is also expected to provide instructions to the jurors, who are likely to start deliberations on Tuesday.
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[Featured image: AP Photo/John Minchillo, File]