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During the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, prosecutors reportedly dropped their case against two jail guards accused of falsifying jail records and sleeping on the job whilst convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide in his cell.
Insider report that Federal prosecutors in Manhattan opted to sign a nolle prosequi (a formal notice of dropping the case) on 13 December.
Charges were first filed against the guards in 2019 and according to the Associated Press, a grand jury indictment accused Toval Noel and Michael Thomas of neglecting their duties.
The indictment claimed the guards failed to perform the required half-hourly checks on Epstein but fabricated log entries to indicate that they had done so.
Epstein was placed on suicide watch after being found with bruising to his neck on 23 July. Under that supervision, he was to be checked on every half hour around the clock by guards.
The disgraced billionaire was found dead on 10 August awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
On Wednesday (29 Dec) a jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of the six counts of grooming underage girls she had been charged with.
The only count she wasn't convicted on was 'Enticement of an Individual Under the Age of 17 (Jane only) to Travel with Intent to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity'.
The jury instead convicted her of conspiracy to entice and transport individuals under 17 with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, as well as sex trafficking of individuals under the age of 17 and 18.
Maxwell, 59, has always denied grooming underage girls for abuse by late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
She is accused of recruiting and grooming four teenagers for Epstein between 1994 and 2004, with the accusers - now women in their 30s and 40s - sharing emotional testimonies in the three-week trial.
The jury began deliberating on Monday 20 December over whether the British socialite set up teenage girls herself, or if she is a scapegoat for Epstein.
Following several weeks of testimony, the 12 jurors and five alternates were told by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan: "Your function is to weigh the evidence in the case and to determine whether or not the government has proved that Ms. Maxwell is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."
The jury withdrew for an hour of deliberations on Monday evening, before returning on Tuesday to continue.
Prosecutor Alison Moe said in her closing argument: "Epstein could not have done this alone,"
"When that man is accompanied by a posh, smiling, respectable, age-appropriate woman, that's when everything starts to seem legitimate.
"And when that woman... acts like it's totally normal for that man to touch those girls, it lures them into a trap."
Topics: Jeffrey Epstein