The indictment paints Maxwell as Epstein’s partner in crime, adept at the art of grooming victims for him. Her methods, prosecutors said, involved befriending “some of Epstein’s minor victims prior to their abuse, including by asking the victims about their lives, their schools, and their families. Maxwell and Epstein would spend time building friendships with minor victims by, for example, taking minor victims to the movies or shopping.”
Maxwell “delivered them into the trap,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said at a press conference the day of Maxwell’s arrest. “She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while she was setting them up to be sexually abused by Epstein and, in some cases, by Maxwell herself.”
Once the trap was laid and rapport established, Maxwell would then “try to normalize sexual abuse for a minor victim by, among other things, discussing sexual topics, undressing in front of the victim, being present when a minor victim was undressed, and/or being present for sex acts involving the minor victim and Epstein,” all of which “helped put the victims at ease because an adult woman was present,” according to the indictment.