GHISLAINE Maxwell was in the room when Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused a 14-year-old girl, a court heard.
The first of four accusers took to the stand today in New York as Maxwell faces six charges of sexual abuse and trafficking over her alleged role with Epstein.
Epstein was a multimillionaire sex offender who allegedly used his wealth and influence to construct a web of sexual slavery – with Maxwell as his “madam”.
She faces charges relating to four victims, with the first – speaking under pseudonym “Jane” – appearing today at the courthouse in New York.
Jane claimed that she was just 14 when Epstein first sexually abused her – and said Maxwell was in the room at the time.
The alleged victim said she was “frozen in fear” having never seen a penis before.
She claimed that Maxwell would also instruct her how to give Epstein sexual massages and sometimes physically participated in the encounters.
And at one point during her testimony, Jane started to sob.
Maxwell denies all charges – and her lawyers claim she is being made a “scapegoat” after Epstein’s death.
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The alleged victim explained how she was first approached by the couple at an arts summer camp in Michigan.
Jane was a singer, but she said her family was struggling financially after her dad’s death.
Epstein and Maxwell allegedly said they were benefactors supporting the camp – and they struck up what appeared to be a friendship with her and her mum.
But she claimed this relationship escalated and she was then subjected to regular sexual abuse by Epstein.
Jane told the court she was subjected to abuse “every time” she visited his house.
Sometimes she would be made to participate in an “orgy”, she said.
And on one occasion she watched as Epstein fondled himself as Ghislaine “rubbed” and “kissed” him, the court heard.
“She was very casual, like this was entirely normal. I was confused. When you are 14 you have no idea what is going on,” she said.
She also claimed on one occasion she saw Maxwell and four other women topless by a pool.
When you are 14 you have no idea what is going on
And in another instance she was brought up to Epstein’s bedroom at his mansion in Palm Beach.
“They moved me over to the bed and took their clothes off. And they started to sort’ve like fondle each other,” she said.
“They asked me to take my top off. Then there were hands everywhere.”
Epstein would like to massaged “hard” – including acts like “twisting his nipples”, she added.
Epstein would pay for things for Jane, such as clothes and singing lessons, the court heard.
And the couple would allegedly talk about their high profile social circle, mentioning names such as Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
Testimony from Epstein’s pilot earlier in the day saw the two former US Presidents named as passengers on the multimillionaire’s private jet, along with Prince Andrew.
Jane claimed she travelled with the couple and visited properties in New York and New Mexico with flights on his private jet.
Maxwell first appeared in court this morning just after 8.30am wearing a mask, a beige turtleneck sweater and black slacks while cradling a lime green folder.
She waved to her sister Isabel who is in court to support her – and was also seen taking notes and passing them to her lawyers.
Prosecutors argue Maxwell “served up” young girls to Epstein as part of a pyramid scheme of abuse as she appeared in court in New York.
Epstein and Maxwell were described by prosecutors as ‘partners in crime’[/caption]
Epstein and Maxwell rubbed shoulders with the world’s rich and famous – allegedly hiding in plain sight amid a web of sordid sex abuse.
Her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim claimed “ever since Eve, women have been blamed for the evil deeds of men”.
She said: “Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein or any of the other men, moguls and media giants who abuse women.”
The defence are expected to hinge much of their case on going after the victims.
However, the prosecution paint a very different picture of Ghislaine as instrumental in Epstein’s web of money, sex and lies.
Lawyers called the 59-year-old Brit heiress a “dangerous predator” and said she and Epstein were “partners in crime”.
GHISLAINE Maxwell faces six charges over her alleged involvement with Jeffrey Epstein:
- Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex
- Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Sex trafficking conspiracy
- Sex trafficking of a minor
Maxwell is alleged to have snared girls as young as 14 into a “nightmare” after promising them “the world”.
She is accused of walking girls into Epstein’s liar where she watched as he molested them – and sometimes even joined in.
Convicted sex offender Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial for further sex trafficking charges in August 2019.
She also faces two other charges of perjury over allegations she lied in a deposition in a separate civil suit, but these will be tried separately.
Maxwell was arrested suddenly in July 2020 – and has been held in prison ever since as she was deemed a flight risk.