New York – first of four women described as prime accused in the indictment British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell Testified Tuesday that Maxwell was often in the room when the witness, then just 14, had sex with financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Prosecutors went with their second witness in a sex trafficking case against Maxwell, a woman in her early 40s who was introduced to the jury as “Jane,” a pseudonym she said she was 22 years old. Prefers to defend acting career. ,
During the sexual encounters that began in 1994 and continued through 1997, Maxwell was “very casual,” she told the New York City jury. “Like it was no big deal.”
The witness testified in a calm but steady voice, though she choked twice and dabbed her nose with a tissue as she described the sexual encounters. She said that Maxwell instructed her to give Epstein a sexual massage and sometimes attended to a physical.
He also avoided looking at Maxwell, except when he pointed to his index finger when asked to identify him. Maxwell kept a steady gaze in the direction of the witness, occasionally writing down notes that he gave to lawyers. Some jurors sometimes leaned forward to listen to the witness while looking at Maxwell.
Witness testimony was offered by prosecutors to support their claims that Maxwell recruited and framed the girls for Epstein to sexually abuse them from 1994 to at least 2004.
Witness first met Epstein and Maxwell in 1994, when she was attending a music camp in pursuit of a singing career, she said. She said she was having ice cream with friends when Maxwell made contact with a Yorkshire Terrier, drawing their attention. After his friends left, he talked to Epstein, who had then arrived and introduced himself as a donor. He found that they both lived in Palm Beach, Florida, she said.
The woman and her mother soon received an invitation to Epstein’s home and although her mother was not included in subsequent invitations, she was “very impressed and enamored of wealth, prosperity” and believed that Maxwell and Epstein were indeed Should have thought his daughter was special, the woman testified.
Soon, Epstein and Maxwell were shopping for clothing, including underwear from Victoria’s Secret, and asking about his life after his father’s sudden death, which had never happened at a home where soul-searching conversations never took place. It was, she said.
The abuse began when Epstein suddenly held her hand one day and said, “Follow me,” before taking her to a pool house at home. Then he took off his pants, pulled her over to him and “proceeds to masturbate,” she said.
“I was frozen in fear,” she said. “I’ve never seen a penis before. … I was terrified and felt gross and embarrassed.”
Another time, she was taken to a massage room where both Maxwell took advantage of her, she said.
“There were hands everywhere and Jeffrey proceeded to masturbate again,” she said.
He said other encounters have involved sex toys or oral sex with other young women and Maxwell turned into “orgies”.
At cross-examination, defense attorney Laura Meninger immediately attacked the credibility of the witness, asking why she waited more than 20 years to report the alleged abuse by Maxwell to law enforcement and in her first meeting with the FBI. Why brought in two personal injury lawyers.
Meninger also asked whether it was true that he had previously spoken to his siblings and others close to him about Epstein’s behavior, but excluded Maxwell from earlier accounts.
“You never mentioned Ghislaine Maxwell?” The lawyer asked.
“I don’t know,” replied the witness, adding that he only remembered the discomfort of going into all the details.
Meninger also took testimony from the woman that she was awarded $5 million from a fund set up to compensate Epstein’s victims and received $2.9 million after deducting attorney’s fees and expenses.
The arguments were expected to continue on Wednesday as well.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty. One of her lawyers said in an opening statement Monday that she was being made the scapegoat for Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 in his Manhattan prison cell at age 66 as he pleaded guilty to a sex trafficking trial. had waited.
Earlier on Tuesday, a former Epstein pilot testified that he never saw evidence of sexual activity on planes because he had flown his boss and others – including a prince and former president – for nearly three decades.
Lawrence Paul Wisowski Jr., the first witness of the trial, He admitted that he did not encounter sexual activity on the two jets for about 1,000 trips between 1991 and 2019.
Although he was a government witness, Wissowski’s testimony seemed to aid Maxwell’s defense as he told Maxwell’s lawyer, Christian Everdale, that he had never witnessed sexual activity when he left the cockpit for coffee or a bathroom break. and never used sex toys or condoms when she cleaned.
And when asked if he had ever seen sex with underage women, he replied: “Not at all.”
Wissowski also acknowledged that former President Bill Clinton was a passenger on some flights in the 2000s and had accompanied Britain’s Prince Andrew, the late US Sen. John Glenn of Ohio – the first American to orbit the Earth – and former President Donald Trump. Aircraft were operated. Trump rider.
Epstein’s plane was nicknamed “The Lolita Express” by some in the media after allegations surfaced that he used it to transport teenage girls to his private island, his New Mexico farm, and his New York City townhouse. Was.
Maxwell, 59, traveled for decades in circles that put him in touch with accomplished and wealthy people for decades before his July 2020 arrest.
Asked where Maxwell stands in Epstein’s world hierarchy, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Comey said, Wisowski said Maxwell was “No. He said that “Epstein was the big No. 1.”
That testimony supported what Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz told jurors in her opening statement on Monday: Epstein and Maxwell were “partners in the crime.”