Maxwell Lawyers Once Again Reveal Her Accuser’s Identity
(Bloomberg) -- Attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca revealed the first name of Ghislaine Maxwell’s accuser in trial Friday, despite repeated warnings from Judge Alison Nathan to maintain the alleged victim’s anonymity.
In just the first week of Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial, the accuser -- who has been going by the pseudonym “Jane” -- has already had the real names of her siblings revealed by a different Maxwell attorney, Laura Menninger. Jane’s last name was also disclosed, when she accidentally said it aloud after being asked by Menninger to read out a letter.
Judge Nathan, who is allowing Maxwell’s accusers to testify using a pseudonym to protect their identities, had the transcripts scrubbed of the names. Maxwell is charged with trafficking girls for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, and engaging in some of the abuse herself.
“You are admonished to carefully abide by my ruling,” Nathan told Pagliuca.
Violating a judge’s order can be a civil or even criminal contempt of court depending on the circumstances, according to Stephen Gillers, an expert in legal ethics at New York University School of Law.
“The fact that ‘Jane’ might earlier have inadvertently revealed her own name or that others may have revealed identifying characteristics would not free the lawyers to violate the judge’s order,” said Gillers. “But it could lead the judge to modify her order.”
Pagliuca and Menninger are accomplished Denver-based trial attorneys at Haddon, Morgan and Foreman P.C. The duo told Nathan earlier this week that the prosecution’s request to protect witnesses’ anonymity is “overly broad and unworkable.” They made the complaint in a letter to the judge following the disclosure of the siblings’ names.
“The government’s proposal reaches much too far, and it would unfairly constrain Ms. Maxwell’s ability to meaningfully and effectively confront her accusers,” the attorneys said.
Jane, who says she was just 14 years old when the abuse started, has said she wants to remain anonymous because “victim shaming is still very present to this day” and she’s concerned it will affect her career in the entertainment industry.
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