Defense rests after Ghislaine Maxwell says there is 'no need' for her to testify in her own defense

"The government has not proven its case," Maxwell told the judge.

December 17, 2021, 8:46 PM

Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein who herself is facing charges related to the alleged abuse and trafficking of underage girls, declined to testify in her own defense Friday, shortly before the defense rested its case in the two-week-long trial.

Judge Alison Nathan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York informed Maxwell of her right to testify on Friday afternoon, following two days of testimony from witnesses for the defense.

"Your honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt," Maxwell said. "And so there is no need for me to testify."

The defense rested its case Friday afternoon after calling nine witnesses over two days. The prosecution called two dozen witnesses over ten days.

Closing statements and the charging of the jury will begin on Monday morning.

Maxwell faces a six-count indictment for allegedly conspiring with and aiding Epstein in his sexual abuse of underage girls between 1994 and 2004. She has been held without bail since her arrest in July 2020 and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, she could spend decades in prison.

Ghislaine Maxwell speaks with her attorneys during the trial of Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, in a courtroom sketch in New York, Dec. 17, 2021.
Jane Rosenberg/Reuters

Earlier Friday, Maxwell's defense team was left scrambling following an unfavorable ruling by the judge.

Defense attorneys told the court they intended to call a woman identified only by her first name, Kelly, but revealed for the first time that she had not responded to a subpoena to testify. Judge Nathan questioned why the defense had not raised this sooner, and said that "we are not delaying the trial."

The judge also ruled that the defense could not ask FBI agents about their investigative methods, thereby limiting their testimony. An exasperated defense attorney, Laura Menninger, suggested the defense case was being unfairly restricted.

"Our client's life is on the line," Menninger told the judge.

The defense eventually called Dr. Eva Dubin, a former Swedish beauty queen and the current wife of billionaire investor Glen Dubin, who testified that she dated Epstein "on and off" from 1983 to 1991. During that time, Dubin said, she never observed any inappropriate conduct between Epstein and underage girls.

One of Maxwell's accusers, "Jane," had earlier alleged that Eva participated in group sex with her at Epstein's house. Asked on Friday whether she had been involved in such a "group sexual encounter" with "Jane," Eva replied, "Absolutely not."

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