Ghislaine Maxwell's alleged victim arrives at court

Sarah Ransome reportedly told media at the Manhattan courthouse, 'I never thought this day would come'

One of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims arrived Monday at the New York City courthouse where the jury was selected for the trial in the long-running sex trafficking case. 

Two years after Jeffrey Epstein's suicide behind bars, Sarah Ransome arrived at the courthouse for the start of Maxwell's trial in New York. Wearing a matching red beret and sweater, she said little to the media that surrounded her before she ascended the courthouse steps. 

"I never thought this day would come," she briefly remarked to reporters, according to The Independent


Ransome, who was born in South Africa to British parents, claims she attempted to escape from Epstein’s private island through shark-infested waters after being raped three times in one day. She is not expected to testify. 

Maxwell, who once dated Epstein, is accused of acting as his chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls for him to abuse. The charges against her stem from the allegations of four women who say she and Epstein victimized them as teens from 1994 to 2004.

Prosecutors say there’s evidence Maxwell knew that the victims, including a 14-year-old, were below the age of consent and that she arranged travel for some between Epstein’s homes, including his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, his Manhattan townhouse and other residences in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and London.

Maxwell, 58, is charged with one count of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which carries a maximum sentence of five years; one count of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years; one count of conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of five years; and two counts of perjury, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Twelve jurors and six alternates were selected Monday to hear Maxwell’s case. They were picked from a pool of 40 to 60 potential jurors who made it through initial questioning. The jury was sworn in after U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan sorted out potential scheduling conflicts involving two jurors.

Opening statements are expected to begin later in the day. 

Epstein killed himself at a Manhattan federal lockup in August 2019, a month after his arrest on sex trafficking charges. Authorities charged Maxwell in July 2020, arresting her after tracking her to a $1 million New Hampshire estate where she had been holed up during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty and vehemently denies wrongdoing. The 59-year-old British socialite, jailed in Brooklyn since her arrest, has called the claims against her "absolute rubbish." Maxwell's lawyers and family say she was Epstein's pawn, now paying "a blood price" to satisfy public desire to see someone held accountable for his crimes.


The wealthy, Oxford-educated Maxwell is the daughter of British newspaper magnate Robert Maxwell, who died in 1991 after falling off his yacht – named the Lady Ghislaine – near the Canary Islands. Robert Maxwell, whose holdings at the time included the New York Daily News, was facing allegations that he had illegally looted his businesses’ pension funds. Ghislaine Maxwell holds U.S., British and French citizenships and was repeatedly denied bail in the run-up to her trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.