Prosecutors argue Maxwell was 'essential' to Epstein's sexual exploitation, defense attacks accusers

‘She knew exactly what she was doing. She was dangerous. She was setting young girls up to be molested by a predator,’ prosecutor said of Maxwell.
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Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
(Patrick McMullan / Getty Images)

Prosecutors argued Monday that socialite Ghislaine Maxwell "played an essential role" in pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s illicit schemes, and they were "partners in crime" for a decade. 

During opening arguments, Assistant US Attorney Lara Pomerantz stated, "The defendant and Epstein lured their victims with the promise of a brighter future — only to sexually exploit them and forever change their lives."

"She knew exactly what she was doing. She was dangerous. She was setting young girls up to be molested by a predator," Pomerantz said, per The New York Post. "That’s what we expect the evidence will show."

Epstein and Maxwell would lure girls as young as 14 to "massage rooms" where Epstein would sexually abuse them, according to prosecutors.

Maxwell has been in jail since July 2020. Her defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim argued that Maxwell is a "convenient stand-in" for Epstein, who died in jail in 2019 while facing federal sex-trafficking charges.

She also attacked Maxwell’s alleged victims, saying, "accusers have shaken the money tree and millions of dollars have fallen their way."

Despite facing serious allegations, Maxwell reportedly looked relaxed in court.