Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Accuser tells court of horrifying sexual encounters with Jeffrey Epstein

The first accuser of Ghislaine Maxwell has taken the stand in the socialite’s trial today — making a disturbing allegation against the accused.

The first accuser of Ghislaine Maxwell has taken the stand in the socialite’s trial in New York today — alleging the accused was in the same room as her while she had multiple disturbing group sexual encounters with Jeffery Epstein when she was just 14.

Prosecutors described the accuser’s journey as a “nightmare that would last for years” after the young girl met the Maxwell and Epstein.

The alleged victim, identified only as Jane, told the court she was coaxed into group sex sessions at the Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, The New York Post reports.

She recalled hanging out at Epstein’s lavish home in the mid-1990s, when she and others, including Maxwell, would “abruptly” be summoned to his bedroom or a massage room.

“What would Maxwell typically do?” Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe asked.

“She, along with others, would just start taking their clothes off, Jeffrey would get on the massage table,” the woman replied. “It just turned into this orgy.”

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The court heard the alleged victim was at a camp for talented kids in Michigan in the summer of 1994 — when she was aged just 14 — when Maxwell walked by.

Jane told the court Maxwell and a terrier dog approached her while she was eating ice cream with friends. After a while, her friends left. Epstein joined.

Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz told the court Epstein then introduced himself as a donor who gave scholarships to young people at the camp, and the pair asked for Jane’s number.

“What Jane didn’t know then was that this meeting at summer camp was the beginning of a nightmare that would last for years,” Ms Pomerantz told the jury. “What she didn’t know then was that this man and woman were predators.”

The then teenager’s father had died of leukemia nine months earlier, the court heard. The family was bankrupt and had lost their home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Epstein and Maxwell told her they also lived in Palm Beach and asked for her phone number. Jane said she gave them her mother’s landline.

Epstein invited her and her mother to his mansion for tea a few days after she started eighth grade, telling her he likes to mentor young students, she testified. Jane said she started visiting Epstein’s home alone. Maxwell was often present.

Jane took the witness stand on Tuesday in Federal District Court, the first of four women who prosecutors allege are the underage victims of Maxwell and Epstein.

They are now all adults and expected to testify under pseudonyms or partial names in Maxwell’s trial.

Maxwell is on trial for six counts related to her alleged involvement in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minors. She has pleaded not guilty.

Testifying on Tuesday, Jane said Maxwell came across like a big sister figure. She told the court she was “odd, but nice”.

The court heard she began going to Epstein’s house once every couple of weeks and that soon, she had her first sexual encounter with the financier.

For months after, the woman said she would hang out at Epstein’s home every week or two on average, spending time by the pool, in the kitchen or going to the movies.

She described once seeing Maxwell and other women lounging by the pool “all topless and some of them were naked.”

“I was just shocked because I hadn’t seen that before,” the woman said.

The witness said she thought Maxwell was like an “older sister” to her.

“She would ask me what I was up to, if I had a boyfriend,” she testified, recalling how Maxwell once told her about dating, “Once you f**k them you can always f**k them again because they’re grandfathered in.”

She described how Epstein and Maxwell took her shopping, including one time to Victoria’s Secret, where they bought her white cotton briefs. Epstein also started giving her cash on her visits to his home, and also began buying her clothes and “things for school.” Both he and Maxwell would also brag about their famous friends, name-dropping former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.

“Initially, I felt special,” she said about the attention they showered on her. “It changed when the abuse started happening.”

Epstein eventually sexually assaulted “Jane” in the pool house on the estate, where he “just pulled his pants down … and proceeded to masturbate on me,” she testified.

“I was frozen. In fear,” she said. “I’d never seen a penis before.”

Not long after the first assault, the woman alleged that both Epstein and Maxwell molested her in his bedroom.

“They moved me over to the bed and took their clothes off. And they started to sort of like fondle each other,” she said, adding that they were “casually giggling” as she stood there.

“[They] asked me to take my top off,” she continued. “Then there were hands everywhere … Jeffrey proceeded to masturbate again. [Maxwell was] rubbing on him, kissing on him.

In interactions following that incident, Jane said the sick duo would lead her to a massage table inside a room at the house and show her how Epstein liked to be rubbed down. “During these incidents did Maxwell ever touch your body?” the prosecutor asked.

“Yes,” the alleged victim answered.

Jane told the court she had multiple sexual encounters with Epstein.

The New York Post reports her voice broke as she described once being called to Epstein’s bedroom during a trip to New Mexico with the sick financier and Maxwell.

“My heart sank in my stomach …,” she said, “because I did not want to go see him.”

She said she received a multimillion-dollar payment from a victim fund setup by the financier’s estate.

Because of that, she said she agreed to dismiss a civil suit in 2020 that she brought against Maxwell and Epstein.

Jane said she ultimately received more than US$2 million ($2.81m) from the fund and added she has no financial stake in the outcome of Maxwell’s criminal trial.

Pilot recalls flying Clinton, Prince Andrew, Trump

Epstein’s longtime pilot also testified Tuesday at the sex trafficking trial of Maxwell that he recalled flying Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump on the late financier’s private planes.

Lawrence Visoski, who worked for Epstein for nearly 30 years, said he was told when VIPs would be aboard because “you’d want to make sure the plane looked nice.” Besides Clinton, Prince Andrew and Trump, Visoski said he also recalled flying the actor Kevin Spacey.

Maxwell, the 59-year-old daughter of the late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell, is accused of procuring underage girls who were sexually exploited by Epstein.

Epstein committed suicide in a New York prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial.

Epstein’s VIP passengers, including on flights to his luxury properties around the world, had been previously reported, but Visoski gave further details as the government’s first witness at the trial.

He said that he never saw any sexual activity on the planes, but that the cockpit door was always closed in flight.

“I certainly did not,” he said when asked if he witnessed sexual activity with minors.

Visoski, who worked as a pilot for Epstein from 1991 to 2019, was also asked about a key witness who is being identified only as “Jane” and is testifying against Maxwell.

Jurors were shown Jane’s birth certificate but it was not made public. Prosecutors said she was underage during her contact with Epstein.

‘Mature woman’

Visoski said he would sometimes see passengers boarding but he did not recall ever seeing anyone who looked younger than 18 to 20 years old with the exception of girls travelling with their families.

He said he recalled Jane as a “mature woman, with piercing powder blue eyes.” The pilot said he considered Maxwell as Epstein’s “number two” and she would often call to schedule his flights. The line of questioning was in the context of her role in organising Epstein’s life.

Prosecutors said Monday at the opening day of Maxwell’s trial that she had provided underage girls to Epstein “to be sexually abused.” Four women who allegedly suffered at the hands of the duo are key witnesses in the trial, which is taking place under intense media attention.

Prosecutors say Maxwell facilitated and took part in the abuse of the four unidentified women, befriending them with shopping and movie theatre trips before coaxing them to engage in sex acts with Epstein, later giving them money.

Maxwell appeared in court on Tuesday masked and wearing similar beige sweater and black slacks that she wore the previous day.

Her defence lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said Monday that her client was a “target” being blamed for the late Epstein’s crimes.

Epstein was a multimillion-dollar money manager who befriended countless celebrities and was accused of providing them with women, including minors.

No one has been charged in the case with the exception of Maxwell. Her trial is expected to stretch over six weeks.

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