Pseudoscience As A Defense: Day 11 of The Maxwell Trial
Jurors and journalists alike shuffled back into SDNY Courthouse on a cold NY Thursday morning for the 11th day of the Maxwell trial (after a three-day hiatus). Maxwell’s defense team would open proceedings by requesting an anonymity waiver for 3 of their witnesses. The judge would deny this claim, stating that it had no foundation, deeming a special exemption was unnecessary.
The day’s first witness would be Ms. Espinoza, who would explain she lived on the Upper East Side of NY during the year 1996 and had worked for Ghislaine as a personal assistant alongside Sarah Kellen and Emmy Taylor. She confirmed signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement during her time of employment. Ms. Espinoza would recall the layout and appearance of Maxwell and Epstein’s office on Madison Ave. She continued to explain that Maxwell had managed multiple properties for Epstein as she had understood it “she was very important” when describing Ghislaine’s role in Epstein’s operation.
Ms. Espinoza would continue to disclose that during her time working for Ghislaine and Epstein she had witnessed the purchases of an apartment in Paris and a private island named “Little Saint James” which she claimed had its name changed to “Little Saint Jeff’s”. She stated that she assisted with construction on the island on one occasion shipping sand to the island and also furnishing a house. She stated there was even a fully staffed fire department on the island equipped with a firetruck.
She would recall that during her time of employment Emmy Taylor was her co-worker responsible for Maxwell’s dog and carrying Ghislaine’s handbag. Maxwell’s lawyer would ask Ms. Espinoza if she had visited a London address (44 Kinnerton Street in London) to which she would answer affirmatively. Ms. Espinoza would be asked if she has seen witness “Jane” visiting Epstein in his office, to which she said “yes”. When she was asked how old Jane appeared, Espinoza responded “18” (which similar to Larry Viskoski’s testimony was met with doubt, as photo evidence suggests otherwise).
She would also be asked if she witnessed Jane travelling on Epstein’s planes but said she was unable to recall. Maxwell’s lawyer would introduce acting headshots of Jane into discovery. Espinoza would attempt to explain Ghislaine and Epstein’s relationship without being solicited; this was swiftly objected to by US prosecution attorney Pomerantz. Espinoza would be asked by if others had visited Epstein to which she responded “Gwendolyn Beck, Shelly Lewis”. She would also disclose that Ghislaine would often vacation to Miami while visiting Palm beach, stating Ghislaine “had friends in Miami”. Espinoza would be asked if she knew the individual “Ted Wiatt” to which she responded, “I learned”.
Following the mid-morning break defense would attempt to ask Espinoza if she knew of Maxwell ever marrying. US Attorney Pomerantz objected; Judge Nathan sustained. Espinoza shared that she had participated in a video conference with government authorities regarding this case in Nov 2020. Maxwell’s attorney Everdell would end inquiry by asking “did you ever see Jeffrey Epstein involved with young girls?” to which she replied “No”. Prosecution would only ask a single question for Espinoza’s cross examination “You never went to Palm Beach, right?” to which Espinoza responded “no”.
The day’s second witness would be Ragu Sud, the VP of Shopper’s Travel since 1988. Mr. Sud would confirm that Epstein was a customer of Shopper’s Travel and proceeded to authenticate 2006 flight records of Epstein’s. Sud would not be cross-examined and was dismissed shortly after. The third witness of the day was Elizabeth Loftus, who has previously testified at the behest of defense in the Harvey Weinstein case (among other high-profile cases). Loftus claims to be an expert in “false memory” but failed to reference any concrete data related to her conclusions; instead presenting a diagram metaphor reading Acquisition - Retention - Retrieval and a barbell labelled “time”. It’s hard to see how Ms. Loftus’ “expert opinion” constitutes anything other than quackery.
Maxwell’s lawyer acknowledged that prosecution had commissioned a separate professional and their team would file a motion in the case this expert is called to the witness stand. Questioning of Loftus continued with Maxwell’s defense asking, “are you aware of image enhancing memory distortion?” Loftus answered the question in ambiguous fashion (somewhat unrelated to the question asked) stating “it makes people feel better about themselves”. Loftus was not hesitant to suggest such generalized thinking; calling to question the legitimacy of her understanding of her claimed “expertise” and her role as an “expert”.
Maxwell’s defense team attempted to introduce Loftus’ CV to which AUSA prosecution objected to, (but it was not sustained). The CV would be admitted to discovery. Maxwell’s lawyer proceeded by establishing Loftus’ charged $600 to provide her “expert opinion. Everdell would continue “media distortion includes dramatic portrayals, correct?” (An extremely general question that pertains no specific relevance to the accusation of child rape) to which Loftus said “oh, yes”.
Misdirection at its finest. It’s clear Loftus is a patsy paid to spew whatever repugnant mucus she is paid to.
Cross-examination skewering of Loftus from Attorney Pomerantz would follow. Pomerantz fired off her first question “Let’s talk about consulting. You’ve worked with defense attorney’s 100’s of times, correct?” to which Loftus responded “yes”. Pomerantz proceeded “and you’ve only worked with Prosecution 5 times?” to which Loftus would answer “yes”. Pomerantz inquired further “in your book “Witness for the Defense”, you wrote that you should be an advocate for” ... then abruptly cut off by Loftus juxtaposing with “that leaves out the context” (again another painfully ambiguous comment from Loftus).
Pomerantz retraced “you didn’t sit in the courtroom for this case, right?” to which Loftus responded, “I was not present in the court room”. Pomerantz expanded, asking “you’re charging the defendant $600 right now?” to which Loftus responded “yes”. Pomerantz continued stating “you’ve accepted millions of dollars from high profile clients before?” to which Loftus said, “I did it free” (which contradicted prior statements). Pomerantz continued “you market yourself by testifying, right?” to which Loftus responded, “I don’t market myself at all”. Loftus would then be asked “you testified for Harvey Weinstein, right?”. Judge Nathan interjected to request a sidebar to discourage further mention of Weinstein. Pomerantz redirected “when you testify for wealthy clients it brings you more business yes?” to which Loftus responded “Maybe”.
Pomerantz proceeded to inquire about the methods of study used by Loftus to draw the conclusion she had parroted during testimony. Pomerantz mentioned several of Loftus’ “misremembering studies”; one study that featured a recall test of a “bugs bunny” at a Disney theme park (as Bugs Bunny is a Warner Bros. Property, which 16% of participants misremembered) and another study that featured a “lost in the mall” scenario (in which 25% of participants misremembered). All of Loftus’ own studies suggest that “false memory” affects a minority of participants and is in no way demonstrated by deduction of logic, reason or scientific method. Pomerantz emphasized this by asking Loftus if the memory of rape could be implanted/misremembered given the severity of crime and abuse; to which Loftus responded, “we can’t implant memories of sexual abuse”. Loftus was dismissed.
The day’s fourth witness would be Michael William Aznaran; U.S Customs and Border Protection. Mr. Aznaran would confirm his role comprised checking documents of incoming passengers. Maxwell’s lawyer would introduce exhibit GX12 and ask Aznaran if he had searched the exhibit previously, which he answered affirmatively.
He was also asked if he had searched for Annie and Kate Farmer, which he answered “yes, I did the searches”. Aznaran elaborated “at JFK, each of the five international terminals has a code and it’s in this report. I ran it Dec 14”. Aznaran would reference the technology used to search as the “Advanced Passenger Information System”.
He would also acknowledge he had provided records relating to Annie Farmer between 1997 and 2006. Cross-examination would begin with Prosecution attorney Pomerantz asking “what are the differences between CBP record before and after 9/11”. Aznaran explained that on-board status checks were not regular routine prior to 9/11. Aznaran would be dismissed.
The day’s final witness would be Dominique Hyppolite. Maxwell’s lawyer would start by asking Dominique “where do you live and work?” to which he responded “Palm Beach school district. I coordinate the processing of subpoenas and represent the district as a records custodian.
Day’s proceedings would conclude after Judge Nathan announced she would schedule charges for Monday; meaning it’s unlikely Maxwell will testify as explained by The Mirror. Although we have heard no mention of blackmail, intelligence agencies or several of the individuals implicated in the crimes of Epstein and Maxwell; this writer is hopeful that justice can be secured for these victims; and further lawsuits can proceed following Maxwell’s conviction.
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