Jury's requests in Maxwell trial: Post-its, highlighters, and the definition of 'enticement'

Ghislaine Maxwell sits with defense lawyers discussing how to respond to a jury's note in New York City on Dec 27, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - As jurors in British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial resumed their work on Monday (Dec 27), they asked the judge in the case for some office supplies: a white paper board and different colour post-it notes and highlighters.

The jury also requested transcripts from two witnesses as well as a definition of the word "enticement," an element in two of the six charges Maxwell faces.

Maxwell, who turned 60 on Christmas Day, is accused of recruiting and grooming four teenage girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, her ex-boyfriend and employer, between 1994 and 2004. Epstein killed himself in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Deliberations, which began on Dec. 20, resumed on Monday after a four-day break for the Christmas holiday.

Maxwell, who has pleaded not guilty to six counts, hugged each of her attorneys upon entering the Manhattan federal courtroom on Monday morning. One of Maxwell's lawyers, Jeffrey Pagliuca, wished her a "Happy birthday" and "Merry Christmas."

The requests for transcripts of witness testimony, along with office supplies that could be useful in creating a visual representation of the evidence at their disposal, suggests jurors are carefully scrutinising the accounts of the four women who said Maxwell set them up for abuse by Epstein.

Maxwell's lawyers focused their defense on challenging the accusers' credibility.

The six counts she faces include one charge of enticing an underage girl to travel for illegal sexual activity, and another count of conspiracy to do the same.

The charge of enticement relates to Jane, the pseudonym for a woman who testified during the trial's first week that she started having sexual contact with Epstein in 1994 when she was 14, and that Maxwell participated in some of their encounters.

Nathan said she would reply that "entice means to attract, induce or lure using hope or desire," citing previous court cases The jury last week requested transcripts of Jane's testimony.

On Monday, jurors asked Nathan to review the testimony of Matt, a pseudonym for Jane's ex-boyfriend, as well as that of Gregory Parkinson, a former police officer who in 2005 searched Epstein's Palm Beach, Florida home.

Matt, who dated Jane from 2006 to 2014, said Jane had told him about her abuse at Epstein's hands. He said Jane told him that "having a woman there made her feel more comfortable"during her encounters with Epstein.

But Matt said Jane did not tell him that woman was Maxwell until Maxwell was arrested in July of 2020.

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