(NEW YORK) -- Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, came face to face with her first accuser in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.
A woman prosecutors have referred to as "Jane," one of the three alleged minor victims whose allegations against Jeffrey Epstein's longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell are detailed in a federal indictment, testified on the second day of her trial, telling her story publicly for the first time.
She told the jury that she met Maxwell and Epstein while attending summer camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, the beginning of what prosecutors earlier called "a nightmare that would last for years."
After returning home to Palm Beach, Florida, "Jane" said, she began visiting Epstein at his seaside mansion, where she testified that she had her first sexual encounter with Epstein in 1994 when she was just 14. According to "Jane," Epstein abruptly took her to his pool house, pulled down his pants and "proceeded to masturbate on me" while she remained "frozen in fear."
The abuse escalated to include explicit massages, "Jane" said, during subsequent visits to Epstein's house, and she identified Maxwell as the person (other than Epstein) most often in the room. Maxwell contributed, she alleged, by "leading me to a massage table and showing me how Jeffrey likes to be massaged."
Maxwell faces a six-count indictment for allegedly conspiring with and aiding Epstein in his sexual abuse of underage girls between 1994 and 2004. She has been held without bail since her arrest in July 2020 and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Over the next several years, "Jane" said, she travelled with Epstein and Maxwell "maybe 10 times," sometimes on Epstein's private plane and sometimes on commercial flights. She visited both Epstein's New York residence and his New Mexico ranch, she said, where she suffered further sexual abuse by Epstein. It was Maxwell, she said, who typically arranged for her travel.
Earlier in the day, Epstein's former pilot, Larry Visoski, testified that he met "Jane" in the cockpit of Epstein's plane, though he later acknowledged he did not know how old she was at the time and could not recall whether she had actually taken a flight.
"Jane" also described frequent orgies with Epstein and other women, the details of which, she said, are "hard to remember," because they started to "seem the same" and she became "numb to it."
She never told anyone about her experience, she said, until many years later.
"How do you tell or describe any of this," she asked, "when all you feel is shame and disgust and confusion and you don't know how you ended up here?"
It's unclear whether Maxwell will take the stand during her trial, which is expected to last six weeks. If convicted, she could spend decades in prison.
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