We need a fair trial for Ghislaine Maxwell, but won’t get one unless her alleged victims keep their mouths shut
No one is about to leap to the defence of Ghislaine Maxwell as she languishes in a grim Brooklyn jail awaiting a trial over sexual grooming charges that isn’t even scheduled to start until next July.
But with the whirlwind of allegations involving sex with teenage girls, vast riches, a jet-set lifestyle and even British royalty swirling around her relationship and alleged complicity with now-dead billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the chances of Maxwell receiving a fair trial are pretty much zilch already.
And guilty or not, that is not a healthy situation for the American due process of law.Also on rt.com ‘I wish her well’: Trump triggers Twitter craziness with comment about Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell
The fallen socialite is already commonly referred to as “a sexual predator” and regarded as the enabler of her hideous former boyfriend and his lust-crazed pals. That’s pretty heavy baggage to ditch once it’s decided it belongs to you by the great internet court of justice.
Unless Maxwell’s lawyers are successful today in their court application to stop their client’s accusers from posting evidence that they have against her online, then things are going to get worse. A lot worse.
Because it’s not just a photo of a gormless Prince Andrew with his arm around the bare waist of a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts Guiffre as Maxwell looks on that we’re talking about here.
There is also Annie Farmer, who told the judge considering the accused’s detention recently, “I met Ghislaine Maxwell when I was 16 years old. She is a sexual predator who groomed and abused me and countless other children and young women.”
So was the claim from Jennifer Araoz, who told how she was raped by Epstein, aged just 15.Also on rt.com ‘Hanging does not cause these broken bones’: Epstein’s injuries more consistent with homicide, noted pathologist says
Then there are literally dozens of other women queuing up to tell their stories about their treatment at the hands of monster Epstein, while Maxwell acted as his accomplice and groomed them for abuse, often on his 70-acre private island in the Caribbean.
Don’t get me wrong. These accusations certainly need to be heard in their entirety. But the courtroom is surely the best place for this, and these women risk undermining the whole process by putting their own civil lawsuits ahead of the broader interests of the criminal justice system.
Not that they, or the greedy lawyers who advise them, see it that way: exposure and outrage equal sky-high settlements.
But the reality is that giving exclusive, tearful interviews, and ‘in-their-own-words’ testimonials about their experiences to competing broadcast networks before any evidence has been put before a judge and jury in a criminal court is not helpful, no matter how cathartic or empowering it might seem.Also on rt.com The new Epstein series doesn’t nail VIPs, but does it matter if his victims were abused by presidents & princes, or just by men?
It imperils their own chances of winning justice. But for the slavering public, willing to lap up all the lurid details, the abuse they suffered as young girls and the justice they seek now as women are all just part of a daily fix of other people’s misery re-packaged as entertainment.
It’s an unfortunate and ghastly modern truth.
Only a select few actually care what happens to Ghislaine Maxwell and maybe she will ultimately get what she truly deserves, once a court has considered all the facts. Just as Harvey Weinstein did after a similar brouhaha surrounded his trial.
In the meantime, unless a belief in the prevailing rights of justice prevails over the desire for reveng-ertainment, then the real truth about what Epstein, Maxwell and others did to those teenage girls may never be known.
Justice will be denied and we will only have ourselves to blame.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.