Ghislaine Maxwell trial postponed after attorney falls ill

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Ghislaine Maxwell’s federal sex-trafficking trial was abruptly cut short Thursday morning after the judge said one of the attorneys in the case was sick.

Judge Alison Nathan adjourned the trial around 10:30 a.m., saying she had just been informed a lawyer was “ill” and “needs to get care.”

“We have no reason to believe it is COVID-related,” Nathan said before letting the jury go for the day.

The sick attorney was not identified.

“We urge you to respect the privacy of all parties to this litigation and not disclose the identity of that attorney,” said a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

The startling announcement came after prosecutors and the defense met with Nathan for an extended discussion in the judge’s chambers. The meeting was requested by prosecutors.

Prosecutors had been expected to call the last of their witnesses on Thursday before resting their case. One of the four Maxwell accusers, Annie Farmer, has yet to testify.

Ghislaine Maxwell courtroom sketch.
The Ghislaine Maxwell trial was delayed after an attorney fell ill. Judge Alison Nathan says it isn’t COVID-related.
REUTERS

Nathan said the trial would continue on Friday.

Thursday’s proceedings had begun around 9:45 a.m., after several jurors arrived late.

Prosecutors had time to call one witness, FedEx paralegal Tracy Chapell, before the day suddenly ended.

Judge Alison Nathan
Judge Alison Nathan said the trial will resume Friday before dismissing the jury.
VIA REUTERS

Chapell testified about shipping invoices showing packages sent from Epstein’s Manhattan address to one of Maxwell’s accusers in Palm Beach, Fla., in the early 2000s.

The alleged victim, Carolyn, told the jury on Tuesday that Epstein sent her lingerie and other gifts, including a “massage for dummies” book and tickets to see California rock band Incubus.

Carolyn, who was a teenager when she was allegedly abused by the pedophile and his accused madam, said she had given Maxwell her address “because Jeffrey Epstein wanted to send me some items.”

Ghislaine Maxwell
Accuser “Carolyn” testified that she gave Ghislaine Maxwell her home address because Jeffrey Epstein wanted to mail her gifts, which included lingerie and a “massage for dummies” book.
REUTERS
Ghislaine Maxwell trial
Prosecutors were able to bring one witness to the stand before the trial was cut short. FedEx paralegal Tracy Chapell testified about packages sent to Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers from his home address.
AP

Defense attorneys, however, got Chapell to acknowledge that none of the invoices shown in court listed Maxwell as the sender of any packages to Carolyn.

Prosecutors have argued that Epstein employees, including at times Maxwell, sent gifts to Carolyn — identified in the indictment as “Minor Victim-4” — in an effort to “recruit and entice” her to “engage in a commercial sex act” knowing she was underage.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca
Defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca. Defense attorneys got Tracy Chapell to admit that none of the invoices shown in court had Maxwell listed as sender.
REUTERS
Defense attorney for Ghislaine Maxwell Bobbie Sternheim
Ghislaine Maxwell defense attorney Bobbie Sternheim. The court declined to identify the attorney who fell ill today.
AP

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