First accuser takes stand Ghislaine Maxwell trial

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NEW YORK (AP) — A lady testified on Tuesday that British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was usually within the room when the witness, then simply 14, had sexual interactions with the financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell “was very informal,” she advised a New York City jury. “Like it was no large deal.”

She claimed the defendant instructed her on the way to give Epstein sexual massages and typically bodily participated within the encounters as effectively.

The witness, utilizing the pseudonym “Jane,” was the primary of 4 alleged victims anticipated to testify in opposition to Maxwell at a New York City trial the place she is charged with recruiting and grooming ladies for Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to no less than 2004.

The witness first met Epstein in 1994 when she was attending a music camp in pursuit of a singing profession, she mentioned. He got here as much as her and launched himself as a donor. They found that they each lived in Palm Beach, Florida, she mentioned.

The lady and her mom quickly acquired invites to Epstein’s dwelling, she mentioned. He and Maxwell would take her looking for garments, together with underwear from Victoria’s Secret, she mentioned.

The cycle of abuse began when Epstein abruptly took her by hand sooner or later and mentioned, “Follow me,” earlier than taking her to a pool home on the dwelling. Then he pulled down his pants, pulled her shut and “proceeded to masturbate,” she mentioned.

“I used to be frozen in worry,” she mentioned. “I’d by no means see a penis earlier than. … I used to be terrified and felt gross and felt ashamed.”

Another time, she was taken to a therapeutic massage room the place he and Maxwell each took benefit of her, she mentioned.

“There had been fingers in all places and Jeffrey proceeded to masturbate once more,” she mentioned.

Other encounters concerned intercourse toys or become oral intercourse “orgies” with different younger girls and Maxwell, she added.

The testimony was anticipated to proceed all through the day and into Wednesday.

Maxwell has pleaded not responsible. One of her legal professionals mentioned in a gap assertion Monday that she’s being made a scapegoat for Epstein, who killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell at age 66 in 2019 as he awaited a intercourse trafficking trial.

Earlier Tuesday, a former pilot for Epstein testified that he by no means noticed proof of sexual exercise on planes as he flew his boss and others — together with a prince and ex-presidents — for practically three many years.

Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr., the trial’s first witness, was responding to questions by a protection lawyer when he acknowledged that he by no means encountered sexual exercise aboard two jets he piloted for roughly 1,000 journeys between 1991 and 2019.

He mentioned he stayed within the cockpit for almost all of flights, however would typically emerge to go to the toilet or get espresso.

Although he was referred to as as a witness by the federal government, Visoski’s testimony appeared to help the protection of Maxwell as he answered questions posed by Maxwell lawyer Christian Everdell about what he noticed when he straightened up the plane after a flight.

Visoski didn’t hesitate when Everdell requested him if he ever noticed sexual exercise when he went for espresso or discovered intercourse toys when he cleaned up.

“Never,” the pilot answered to each questions. He mentioned he by no means noticed used condoms both.

And when he was requested if he ever noticed intercourse acts with underage females, he answered: “Absolutely not.”

The pilot mentioned Epstein by no means warned him to remain within the cockpit throughout flights and likewise inspired him to make use of a rest room close to the rear of the airplane that might require him to stroll previous the airplane’s couches.

He mentioned he by no means noticed any kids on his planes who weren’t accompanied by their mother and father.

When Everdell requested him about an adolescent who prosecutors say was sexually abused by Epstein earlier than she turned an grownup, Visoski mentioned he believed she was “mature” when he was launched to her.

He additionally acknowledged that Clinton was a passenger on a number of flights within the 2000s and he had piloted planes with Britain’s Prince Andrew, the late U.S. Sen. John Glenn of Ohio — the primary American to orbit Earth — and former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, “greater than as soon as.”

Epstein’s airplane was derisively nicknamed “The Lolita Express” by some within the media after allegations emerged that he had used it to fly teenage ladies to his personal island, his New Mexico ranch and his New York City townhouse.

Maxwell, 59, traveled for many years in circles that put her involved with achieved and rich folks earlier than her July 2020 arrest.

Asked by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey the place Maxwell stood within the hierarchy of Epstein’s world, Visoski mentioned Maxwell “was the Number 2.” He added that “Epstein was the massive Number 1.”

That testimony supported what Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz advised jurors in her opening assertion Monday: Epstein and Maxwell had been “companions in crime.”

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