Ghislaine Maxwell's criminal trial got under way on Monday, with a prosecutor saying the British socialite lured underage girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, while a defense lawyer urged jurors not to turn Maxwell into a scapegoat.
"She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused," Assistant District Attorney Lara Pomerantz said in her opening statement.
Maxwell, 59, is on trial for recruiting and grooming four underage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Epstein died in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-abuse charges.
She has pleaded not guilty to eight charges of sex trafficking and other crimes, including two counts of perjury that will be tried at a later date.
Maxwell faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
"The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did, but she is not Jeffrey Epstein," Maxwell's lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said in Manhattan federal court.