Ghislaine Maxwell scored some points in court Friday as a key witness against her had his credibility undermined and her defense was able to exclude photographs of Jeffrey Epstein’s New York mansion.
So satisfied were the victors that at the end of the day, Maxwell was smiling as she put her arm around Bobbi Sternheim, one of her lawyers, according to the Miami Herald.
In federal court in Manhattan, Maxwell is facing charges that between 1994 and 2002 she procured underage girls that Epstein would later sexually abuse. Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting sex trafficking charges.
On Friday, the prosecution and defense dueled over pictures taken in a 2005 FBI raid of Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion. Included in the images were ones that showed framed photos of a partially clad prepubescent girl.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey said the photos were “evidence of Jeffrey Epstein’s lifestyle” that “contradicts the public persona presented by the defense.”
Judge Alison Nathan allowed two Palm Beach photos to be shown, including one of a girl laying across Epstein’s lap. In the image, the girl’s rear end is shown and Epstein pretends to bite her, the Herald reported.
But pictures from a 2019 search of Epstein’s New York mansion were thrown out. An accuser in the case had talked about the décor of the house in 1994.
Nathan said the prosecution never connected photos found in 2019 to allegations of the house’s décor in 1994 or showed their connection to Maxwell.
The judge said a Maxwell accuser known as “Jane” should have indicated whether the 2019 images showed the same décor as 1994.
“You could have and should have shown her the photographs after her testimony,” Nathan said.
Also on Friday, defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca undercut the credibility of Epstein’s Palm Beach house manager, Juan Alessi.
Alessi had claimed Maxwell recruited at least one underage girl from spas near Palm Beach.
However, Alessi had admitted on the stand on Thursday he had stolen $6,300 from Epstein’s mansion after he was no longer employed, the Herald reported.
“It was the worst thing I ever did in my life,” Alessi said, according to the Herald.
Pagliuca asked if there was a second theft.
“Never,” Alessi said.
“Isn’t it true that you went to Epstein’s house to steal a gun, and you went there twice to steal money?” Pagliuca said.
“I don’t remember,” Alessi said.
“Didn’t you tell police you stole the money to pay for a friend’s immigration papers?” Pagliuca said
“I was trying to help her,” Alessi said.
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