Fair trial for Ghislaine Maxwell impossible

Mystery, conspiracies surrounding Epstein’s death prevent true justice for victims



Attention on Jeffrey Epstein’s life of crime and eventual death hang over Maxwell’s trial.

JACOB HERSH, Evergreen columnist


*Editor’s Note: All mentions of Ghislaine Maxwell’s charges and alleged illegal actions have been changed to be preceded by “allegedly” or “alleged,” as Maxwell’s guilt has yet to be determined as of the date this column was published. 


On Aug. 10, 2019, American financier and People Magazine’s “Sexiest Pedophile 2015,” Jeffrey Epstein, was found hanging in his cell. He was pronounced dead shortly after guards found him and everyone agreed it was a run-of-the-mill suicide with nothing to investigate. And then everything returned to normal.

Just kidding!

Anyhow, the Epstein “suicide” made headlines and was promptly buried, only to resurge semi-organically in the form of the “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” internet meme. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you have seen this mantra repeated in some form or another: on homemade stickers, graffitied under overpasses and repeated on cable news.

Now, his alleged second-in-command Ghislaine Maxwell is standing trial in federal court on six counts, which include enticement, transportation and sex trafficking of a minor, in addition to conspiracy with the late Jazzy Jeff Epstein. After waiting 15 months for a trial, Maxwell is finally on the stand — and finally, justice will prevail, the guilty will receive their punishment and Epstein’s (surviving) victims will finally receive some kind of closure, right?


Epstein and Maxwell are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to alleged institutionalized child trafficking and ritualized abuse by the global elite. Since the beginning, Epstein’s history of pedophilia has been excused, covered up and even facilitated by the American legal system.

The first incident, or rather, the first documented instance of abuse by Epstein, dates back to 2005 in Palm Beach. Multiple underage girls came forward with accusations of “erotic massages” and sexual abuse by Epstein in his palatial Florida estate.

It is worth mentioning at this point that no one really knows where Epstein’s money came from. He taught math and physics at the Dalton School, a prestigious New York prep school, from 1974-76 — despite not having a college degree or any background in math or physics.

From there, he was hired as a broker at Bear Stearns, a notable New York investment bank — again, with no prior experience, education or training in the field – until he was fired in 1981. Epstein worked at various financial jobs through the 80s and 90s, but again, there is no indication as to how he became as rich as he was.

By the time of his death in 2019, he was estimated to be worth around $500 million,  including assets and properties like his notorious “Pedophile Island” in the Caribbean. But again, no one really knows. Epstein’s wealth remains a mystery.

All of this alone would not necessarily be an issue. There are plenty of millionaires who have been busted for less-than-legal sex acts, and Epstein’s behavior, while deplorable, would be just that — a rich guy paying for underage sex. But the story does not end there.

Alex Acosta, the prosecuting attorney in the 2005 case, was told while working on putting Epstein behind bars, that the financier “belonged to intelligence” and to “leave [the case] alone.”

Despite months of work and evidence gathering by local police, federal law enforcement suddenly backed off the trial, leaving Epstein with an incredibly generous plea deal and almost no prison time.

So why was Epstein allowed to walk free and continue to amass power and influence with some of the world’s most notable people — including  former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, British royalty like Prince Andrew, actors like Kevin Spacey and even Stephen Hawking? That cuts through to the heart of the issue — and it remains shrouded in mystery.

Epstein is dead (allegedly), and his secrets have died with him. But looking at the history and nebulous circumstances that surround his court appearances, arrest and eventual death in jail, some extremely troubling factors begin to emerge.

First of all, Epstein had friends in incredibly powerful places. Second of all, despite extremely damning evidence, he was allowed to walk virtually scot-free from the Florida affair and remained free until his arrest in 2019 — again, for sex trafficking charges. Third of all, the circumstances surrounding his death contribute to the popular theory that indeed, Epstein did not kill himself.

“Malfunctioning” jail cell cameras, guards who “fell asleep” on the night of Epstein’s alleged suicide and lack of consistent oversight of a highly important inmate who was already on suicide watch? This, in addition to an autopsy report by an independent pathologist and Epstein’s own lawyers that claimed his injuries were “more consistent with assault” than suicide? One does not have to be a raving conspiracy theorist to see that the dots do not connect in any remotely satisfactory way.

So what does this have to do with Maxwell’s ongoing trial? Admittedly, Maxwell is not Epstein, and as such, should not be charged for his crimes. In any case, she has enough to answer for on her own. The issue, however, is that this will not be a fair trial because everything connected to Epstein has been shrouded in conspiracy, mystery and coverups.

Maxwell was allegedly Epstein’s number two. She allegedly helped the financier procure his underage victims, she was at almost every event that Epstein attended and she handled much of his day-to-day. In short, she saw too much. She knows too much.

Consider the amount of insanely rich, powerful and influential people directly connected with Epstein and his misdeeds — actors, musicians, politicians, royalty and financiers, to name a few. Consider what would happen to these people if Maxwell revealed even a tenth of what she allegedly knew in an open federal court. Finally, consider a New York financier swinging in his cell. We should be questioning whether his death was really a suicide — or preventative measures by the global elite. Frankly, it is surprising Maxwell is even still alive.

Maxwell is in an extremely dangerous position. Not that I have any sympathy for her, nor should you. She allegedly knowingly and willingly aided and abetted a monster in decades of sex trafficking and ritual abuse — she deserves every punishment coming to her. But it is important, not only for the legal system but for the countless victims, that she testifies and tells everything she knows. She cannot do this if she is dead.

Will this be a fair trial? Is Maxwell being threatened? Will she, too, end up with a broken neck in a jail cell? I am not in any position to say — but if I were to guess, I would argue that this trial will not dispense any kind of true justice.

Too much is at stake for too many powerful people for Maxwell to actually testify with any real degree of truth behind her admissions. Either she gets off with an incredibly lenient plea deal, à la Epstein in 2005 — or something much more grisly befalls her, “on accident,” and we never learn the truth.

Either way, Maxwell’s trial will not be a dispensation of true justice. It seems, for the American people and for everyone victimized by Epstein and his cronies, that that would be too much to ask.