NEW YORK—Ghislaine Maxwell, a cohort of the late convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein, appeared in federal court on Nov. 24 in her final pre-trial conference.
In June, Maxwell was indicted by a grand jury on six counts of sex trafficking of a minor on behalf of Epstein and his cronies.
Judge Alison Nathan is assigned to the case in the United States Court, Southern District of New York.
The conference was to tie up loose ends before the trial begins on Nov. 29 and to cover the logistics of the first day.
A few issues were discussed among the judge, prosecution, and defense.
Each time the prosecution and defense came to an agreement, Nathan voiced how happy that made her.
However, there were three bouts of contention in the meeting, which lasted about an hour.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca had previously written to the judge that a page from Epstein’s address book had been modified by Alfredo Rodriquez—a former Epstein employee, after he had stolen the book and subsequently tried to sell it—rendering the page unauthentic.
When Pagliuca began his pitch, Nathan cut him off saying, “I don’t want a speech. You’ll have a mature, reasonable discussion [with the prosecution] and come to an agreement.”
The second exchange involved Pagliuca and Nathan again. The defense has plans to introduce lengthy documents to be viewed in court, although they’re not submitted as evidence.
Pagliuca requested these documents be viewed on the video monitors, rather than as hard copies.
He insisted the number of pages was so great there would be “substantial” problems with such a large amount of paper.
The judge couldn’t see the problem and suggested one set be printed and placed in a binder for the prosecution to view when necessary.
Pagliuca held his ground and insisted on video. After a lengthy discussion, he gave in.
The third argument was between Nathan and the prosecution. One of its witnesses, known as Minor Victim-3, allegedly “suffered unwanted and traumatic sexual contact with Jeffery Epstein when she was 17 years old.”
The debate was over if Nathan could say to the jury they could not convict “solely” on her testimony. Prosecution attorney Lauren Pomerantz and Nathan had a five-minute discussion about linguistics.
Nathan did not rule on the word and said she would consider the language.
Maxwell sat silently at the defense table, wearing gray pants, a black top, and a black face mask. A US Marshal hovered close by.
Jury selection is still in progress.
When the conference ended, Nathan thanked everyone and wished them a happy Thanksgiving.