The first accuser in the child sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell testified in court in New York on Tuesday. The accuser, who used the name “Jane”, alleged that Maxwell was sometimes present when Jeffrey Epstein abused her.
Epstein, a New York financier and convicted sex trafficker who counted Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew among his acquaintances, killed himself in the city in August 2019, while in jail awaiting trial for the transportation and abuse of minor teenagers.
Maxwell, 59 and the daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell, was arrested in New Hampshire in July 2020.
Maxwell is on trial for six counts related to her alleged involvement in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor teenagers. She has pleaded not guilty.
In the first full day of testimony, the prosecution first called Epstein’s former private pilot. Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr discussed Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein as he saw it, saying Maxwell was “No 2” in Epstein’s hierarchy, with Epstein “No 1”.
Visoski was asked by lawyers for Maxwell if he ever saw Epstein engage in sex acts.
“No,” he said.
“You never saw sex acts with underage girls?”
“Absolutely not,” he said.
The witness identified as Jane was called second. She told the court she met Epstein in 1994.
“Did there come a time in your life when you had sexual contact with Jeffrey Epstein?” the prosecution asked.
The witness affirmed that there did.
The prosecution asked her age at the time.
“Fourteen years old,” she said.
“Did that happen once or more than once when you were 14 years old?” the prosecution asked.
“More than once.”
The witness was asked: “Was there ever anyone else in the room?”
“Yes,” Jane said.
The prosecution then asked: “Who was most frequently in the room when you had sexual contact with Jeffrey Epstein when you were 14 years old?”
“Ghislaine Maxwell,” the witness said.
More details soon …
In the US, call or text the Childhelp abuse hotline on 800-422-4453. In the UK, the NSPCC offers support to children on 0800 1111, and adults concerned about a child on 0808 800 5000. The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) offers support for adult survivors on 0808 801 0331. In Australia, children, young adults, parents and teachers can contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or Bravehearts on 1800 272 831, and adult survivors can contact Blue Knot Foundation on 1300 657 380. Other sources of help can be found at Child Helplines International