Maxwell confirmed she would not testify in her defense on Friday. When asked by Judge Alison Nathan if she understood her rights, Maxwell took off her mask and replied, “Your Honor, the government has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and therefore I am not required to testify.” The jury was not present.
Closing arguments are expected Monday, and Judge Nathan said she expects to instruct and charge the jury the same day, giving the jurors two days to deliberate before the court closes next Thursday and Friday for the Christmas holidays.
The jury may return the following week to deliberate further if they have not reached a verdict.
Maxwell pleaded not guilty to six federal charges, including trafficking minors, enticing a minor to travel for illegal sex acts, transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three charges of conspiracy.
Maxwell’s lawyers have argued that she is being made a scapegoat for Epstein’s actions and have attacked both the motivations and memories of the women who say they have been abused.
The defense on Friday summoned Eva Andersson-Dubin, who testified that she dated Epstein from 1983 to about 1991 and occasionally. She confirmed that she and her now-husband, hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, remained friends with Epstein throughout the 2000s. .
In response to questions from the defense, Andersson-Dubin said she had never participated in sexualized group massages with one of the plaintiffs, named “Jane,” who had previously testified that she remembered a woman named Eva joining group sexualized massages with Epstein and Maxwell.
Asked Friday if she had ever been involved in such a scenario with Jane, Dubin replied: “Absolutely not.”
A prosecutor clarified during the cross-examination that Eva Andersson-Dubin is not necessarily the only Eva to have ever had contact with Epstein, suggesting that “Jane” could refer to someone else.
As part of the defense’s attempt to undermine the prosecution’s testimony, a psychologist and professor at the University of California Irvine testified about false memories, telling the court that people can be exposed to misinformation about an event afterwards and can record these into their memory, making it inaccurate.
“Even traumatic experiences can be subject to suggestion after an event that can exaggerate, distort or alter the memory,” said Dr. Elizabeth Loftus.
Tensed discussions over the timing of the lawsuit with impending vacation
The court began a back-and-forth between the judge and the defense on Friday, who, before calling the jury, indicated they had at least two potential witnesses who could have carried their case on Monday, including one the defense said had ignored a subpoena.
Judge Nathan was visibly frustrated by the news and asked the defense why she hadn’t heard of the matter sooner, saying “an unresponsive witness is no small matter.”
The other potential witness was an 81-year-old man who lives in the UK and owns a pub across the street from Maxwell’s London town hall. According to the defense, his testimony helped prove the charges of one of the accusers, “Kate,” that they could not have happened when she said they did.
Nathan also expressed concern about the pandemic, indicating she was inclined to force the defense to rest her case Friday, under her policy that parties have a witness ready to testify or rest their case.
Defense attorneys argued with the judge and prosecutors, while attorney Laura Menninger stated, “Our client’s life is at stake.”
Prosecutors found that the defense had ample time to resolve logistical problems.
“We strongly disagree with the suggestion that the defense has been unnecessarily rushed here,” prosecutor Maurene Comey said.
Defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim previously expressed concerns about the timing of closing arguments and possibly asking the jury to deliberate with limited time before the holiday break.
“Christmas is especially festive this year,” she had said, “because people couldn’t do that last year. Our concern is that the jury might feel like we don’t want to come back and judge quickly.”
Ultimately, on Friday, the defense chose to withdraw its request for an arrest warrant for the witness who did not respond to the subpoena. The parties also agreed on a stipulation over Maxwell’s property in London in the 1990s, so the defense chose not to go ahead with pushing for a cafe owner’s testimony.
Eric Levenson of DailyExpertNews contributed to this report.