November 29, 2021 marked the start of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell's federal trial. Maxwell was a close friend and companion to Jeffrey Epstein, who died in his jail cell more than two years ago. This court trial allows for sexual abuse survivors of Epstein and Maxwell to finally voice their trauma and testify to the world.
Defence lawyers for Maxwell have attempted to dissuade the jury from a guilty verdict, stating that since the victims were so young at the time of sexual abuse and massages, they may have lapses in memory of the event. The defence also brought forth witnesses to the stand to speak on Maxwell's behalf, to include a University of California psychology professor Elizabeth Loftus, who told the jury that people can have "false memories" of traumatic events.
"[Memory] doesn't work like a recording device," she said. "We are actually constructing our memories while we retrieve memories." Media coverage can act as "a source of post-event suggestion" and those who recall memories "frequently remember ourselves in a better light than perhaps is accurate", said Dr Loftus.
No matter what Maxwell's lawyers put on the table to disprove the prosecution, justice was served and Maxwell was convicted on charges including trafficking a minor for sexual purposes and conspiracy to transport an individual under the age of 17 across state lines with the intent of engaging in illegal sexual activity.
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