Friday, January 21, 2022

Prosecutor describes Maxwell and Epstein trapping and abusing her at age 14

NEW YORK. One afternoon in 1994, a 14-year-old girl was eating ice cream with friends at a picnic table at a summer art camp in Michigan when, she said, “a tall, skinny woman” with a “cute little Yorkie” “Passed by.

The campers asked if they could pet the dog, but soon after the girl’s friends left her alone with the woman, a man joined them and asked the girl about the camp and her other interests. He said he was a benefactor who donated to the camp and supported young talents. When the girl said she lived in Palm Beach, Florida, the man said, “What a coincidence, we also live there.” He asked for her phone number.

On Tuesday, testifying in court in a sex trafficking case, Ghislaine Maxwell, a 14-year-old from Florida who is currently an adult, identified only as “Jane” in court, told the jury how what appeared to be A chance meeting with Maxwell, a woman from Yorkie, and Jeffrey Epstein led to many years of sexual abuse.

The violence took place at Epstein’s property in Florida, New Mexico and New York, she said, and sometimes involved groups of people. According to her, sometimes Maxwell took part in intercourse.

For many years, according to Jane, she did not tell anyone about the abuse, confiding in loved ones only after she cut off contact with Epstein around 2002. Jane, who introduced herself as a working actor, did not tell law enforcement about her allegations until Epstein’s death in 2019, partly out of fears, she said, would meet a professional hit in Hollywood.

As the first prosecutor to appear at Maxwell’s trial, Jane painted a picture of how Maxwell and Epstein brought her into their lives and how what seemed like mentorship and special treatment soon turned into sexual abuse.

A few weeks after the first meeting in Michigan, according to Jane, she returned from school – it was in the beginning of eighth grade – and found that Epstein had called to invite her and her mother to her home for tea. The chauffeur came to pick them up and brought them to Epstein’s house.

This was the first of her many visits, but her mother never joined them again. The house was impressive, she said, as were Epstein and Maxwell, even if their behavior was sometimes confusing or overwhelming.

In describing those early days, Jane occasionally laughed at herself, gestured widely, and spoke directly to the jury. But when she turned to her stories of abuse – and later when Maxwell’s lawyer tried to rebut her memories in cross-examination – Jane’s tone became more serious.

In several places in the testimony, Jane Maxwell leaned forward in her chair at the defense table, put on her glasses and took notes.

“There was a lot of bragging right from the start that they were friends with everyone,” Jane said, adding that Maxwell and Epstein would be “throwing names” – she recalled that they referred to public figures such as Donald Trump , Bill Clinton and Mike. Wallace. The effect was to assume that “they had very good connections and were secured.”

Jane said she would soon be visiting Epstein’s Palm Beach home every week or two, and Maxwell was constantly present. At first, Maxwell came across as an older sister – “weird and” quirky, “Jane said,” but sweet. ” Jane said Maxwell took her to the movies and bought shirts and a cashmere sweater, and Victoria’s Secret for underwear: “white cotton briefs, simple to look at.”

But soon Maxwell spoke to her about sex, Jane said. One day, according to Jane, Maxwell found himself among a group of women sprawled topless or naked by the Epstein pool.

On another day, when she was still 14 years old, according to Jane, she was talking to Epstein in his office when he told her that he could introduce her to talent agents and “do his best” for her. Then he “suddenly” ended the conversation, took her hand and said, “Follow me,” as he led her outside and into the pool house.

Inside, according to Jane, Epstein took her to the couch and removed her sweatpants. He pulled her close to him and “began to masturbate,” she declared in a broken voice. After he finished, she said, he went to the bathroom to clean up and then “acted like nothing had happened.”

“I froze with fear,” Jane said. She stated that she had not told anyone about what happened inside the pool house, adding: “I was terrified, felt disgusting and ashamed.”

Jane said that soon after the incident, Maxwell joined them in Epstein’s bedroom; while the two adults were touching each other, they led her to join them. On later visits, Maxwell and Epstein took Jane to the massage parlor at home, where Maxwell explained how Epstein loved to be massaged.

Attorney Alison Moe asked about Maxwell’s behavior during those incidents.

“I would say it looked very casual, like it was very normal, like it wasn’t a big problem,” Jane said.

Jane’s often emotional testimony came on the second day of Maxwell’s trial at the US District Court in Manhattan on charges that she helped Epstein recruit, care for, and eventually sexually abuse girls at the age of 14.

Prosecutors said Jane and three other prosecutors, all now adults, will testify under pseudonyms or partial names in court.

The defense made it clear that they planned to try to undermine Jane’s credibility through cross-examination, suggesting that she played a role and that she chose to cooperate with the government and indict Maxwell only because she believed it would help her secure a lawsuit with the victims fund. Epstein, who awarded her $ 5 million.

On Tuesday afternoon, one of Maxwell’s lawyers, Laura Menninger, began cross-examination, insisting that Jane was being delayed in filing her complaints and attempting to point out gaps in her memories of her teenage years in Florida. Her cross-examination is expected to continue Wednesday morning.

Prior to this, prosector Mo asked Jane if she had ever publicly disclosed her identity as a victim of Epstein and Maxwell.

No, Jane said, and she didn’t want to.

“I always wanted to forget about it. I got on with my life, ”Jane said. “I work in the entertainment industry, and the shame of the victims is still there.” Public speaking can also affect her career, she said.

“I really didn’t want to get involved in anything,” she said. “I just wanted it to go away.”

Nation World News Desk
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