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Ghislaine Maxwell trial – live: Accuser tells of graphic abuse, says Epstein boasted of Clinton and Trump ties



Watch live as Ghislaine Maxwell trial continues in New York City

Day two of the trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has concluded in New York City, as the 59-year-old faces charges related to her alleged involvement in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes.

Her first accuser, identified only as “Jane”, took the stand on Tuesday afternoon and testified that Ms Maxwell was in the room when Epstein sexually assaulted her when she was 14 years old.

In at times graphic testimony, she described how she met the couple and was invited into their world, only to be subjected to sexual abuse over a period of years, ruining her self-worth. Cross-examination of “Jane” will continue on Wednesday.

Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski was cross-examined by the defence team on Tuesday morning about specific flights and passengers, following questioning by the prosecution regarding his work and access to Epstein’s properties.

He testified that passengers on Epstein’s plane included Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Trump, Chris Tucker, John Glenn, Kevin Spacey, and George Mitchell. Mr Visoski also said he never saw either Ms Maxwell or Epstein being inappropriate with a minor in 30 years.

In opening statements, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz told jurors at the Manhattan federal court that in the 1990s, Ms Maxwell would procure girls for Epstein via the “ruse” of a massage. In response, her defence said that Ms Maxwell was being made a scapegoat because Epstein’s death led her accusers unable to seek justice.

Ms Maxwell, who spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents, is accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late disgraced financier to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

The daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, Ms Maxwell faces the prospect of up to 35 years of jail if she is found guilty. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

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What are the charges in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial?

The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of recruiting and grooming girls for deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse, got underway on Monday in New York federal court.

Here is an explanation of the charges Maxwell faces and her expected defence:

Prosecutors say Ms Maxwell between 1994 and 1997 persuaded an underaged girl to travel from Florida to New York with the intention of having her engage in sexual activity with Epstein. In 1996, prosecutors say Ms Maxwell gave an unsolicited massage to another minor girl who flew to Epstein’s New Mexico ranch from out-of-state while the girl was topless.

Ms Maxwell is charged with two counts of violating the Mann Act, which bars transporting individuals across state lines for illegal sexual activity.

She also two faces charges of conspiring to violate those two sections of the Mann Act.

The sex trafficking charges

Prosecutors also say that Ms Maxwell, beginning in 2001, recruited one of the four alleged victims to engage in sex acts with Epstein and provided her with hundreds of dollars in cash after massaging Epstein, knowing she was a minor. Ms Maxwell sent gifts including lingerie from a New York address to the girl’s home in Florida, according to a 2021 indictment.

Those allegations form the basis of charges of one charge of sex trafficking of a minor and one charge of sex trafficking conspiracy. Federal law bars recruiting or transporting anyone under 18 to participate in a “commercial sex act.” The trafficking charge does not require the child to be transported across state lines.

Ms Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Her lawyers have argued that prosecutors are treating her as a scapegoat for Epstein, who died by suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Her attorneys say that the alleged sex trafficking victim did not mention Ms Maxwell while cooperating with a 2007 investigation by Florida federal prosecutors into Epstein. They have argued that all four women named in the indictment have financial incentives to lie or exaggerate about Ms Maxwell’s involvement in the alleged abuse.

Ms Maxwell faces two charges of perjury that will be tried at a later date.

Prosecutors have accused Ms Maxwell of lying under oath in 2016 during a deposition for a civil lawsuit brought against her by Virginia Giuffre, who says she was abused by Epstein while a minor. Ms Giuffre alleged Ms Maxwell had defamed her by saying Ms Giuffre lied about the abuse.

In the 2016 deposition, Ms Maxwell said she did not recall the presence of sex toys in Epstein’s Palm Beach house and replied “I don’t know what you’re talking about” when asked if Epstein had a scheme to recruit underage girls for sexual massages.

Prosecutors characterised these statements as “false material declarations” in violation of a federal statute making it a crime to lie under oath. Her lawyers said in a February 2021 court filing that the questions posed were ambiguous and that Ms Maxwell gave truthful responses.

Justin Vallejo1 December 2021 03:00

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Fox News commenter says Maxwell not getting bail is ‘police lawyering’

During the show on Monday, Mr Rivera compared Ms Maxwell’s case to that of Darrell Brooks, who was charged with six counts of first-degree homicide after he plowed his car through a group of people attending a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He noted that Mr Brooks was granted bail, but Ms Maxwell was not. He called the rulings “political lawyering”.

“I am outraged by the Maxwell case. You talk about Darrell Brooks, the creep that ran over his girlfriend and then killed six people,” he said. “He was out on a $1,000 bail, Ghislaine Maxwell has been in jail for 17 months for no bail. She is sitting in prison prior to trial, accused of events that happened between 1994 and 2004.”

Stuti Mishra1 December 2021 04:21

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Presidents, a prince, and the ‘piercing, powder-blue eyes’ of women on the Lolita Express

This is your captain speaking: Epstein’s pilot reveals jet-setting life flying global elites like Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Kevin Spacey on a private jet, write The Independent’s Bevan Hurley and Justin Vallejo.

“Larry Visoski saw many things from the cockpit of the ‘Lolita Express’. For nearly 30 years, the personal pilot of Jeffrey Epstein flew the global elite to the convicted paedophile’s palatial mansions and estates from New York to Paris to a tiny island in the Caribbean.

Apart from those “pretty important people”, Mr Visoski told the Federal District Court in Manhattan he would sometimes be introduced to other types of guests as they boarded the plane. One was an aspiring singer Epstein took to the cockpit, who Mr Visoski recalled as “a mature woman, with piercing, powder blue eyes”.

But one very specific thing Mr Visoski maintains he never saw, however, is sexual activity of any kind. He added that he “certainly did not” see any sex acts with underage girls.

Stuti Mishra1 December 2021 03:45

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What was Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express’?

The first witness to take the stand was Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr, Epstein’s chief pilot for more than 25 years, who said he had flown the disgraced financier “every four days” or so since his hiring in 1991, writes The Independent’s Joe Sommerlad.

“One of the pilot’s duties was to fly the Boeing 727 that became known among the press as the “Lolita Express” for its role in ferrying young women between New York and Epstein’s primary residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where many of his alleged acts of sexual abuse are said to have taken place. The nickname for the plane is an allusion to Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov’s notorious book Lolita (1955), about a literary professor who becomes sexually obsessed with his 12-year-old stepdaughter.”

Justin Vallejo1 December 2021 02:00

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Prosecution’s key witness ‘Jane’ describes years of abuse

Jeffrey Epstein engaged in sadomasochistic sexual abuse with a 14-year-old girl who had been left grief-stricken and living in poverty after the death of her father, and Ghislaine Maxwell was often “in the room” when it took place, a jury heard on Tuesday, writes The Independent’s Bevan Hurley.

“Throughout the harrowing testimony, Ms Maxwell was seemingly unmoved, occasionally scribbling notes and passing them to her attorneys. On several occasions both sets of lawyers were called into Judge Nathan’s chambers after repeated objections to a line of questioning by the prosecutor Alison Moe. Jane and Ms Maxwell would be left in the courtroom, and seemed to avoid eye contact.”

Justin Vallejo1 December 2021 00:55

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Prosecution’s key witness ‘Jane’ describes years of abuse

Jeffrey Epstein engaged in sadomasochistic sexual abuse with a 14-year-old girl who had been left grief-stricken and living in poverty after the death of her father, and Ghislaine Maxwell was often “in the room” when it took place, a jury heard on Tuesday, writes The Independent’s Bevan Hurley.

“Throughout the harrowing testimony, Ms Maxwell was seemingly unmoved, occasionally scribbling notes and passing them to her attorneys. On several occasions both sets of lawyers were called into Judge Nathan’s chambers after repeated objections to a line of questioning by the prosecutor Alison Moe. Jane and Ms Maxwell would be left in the courtroom, and seemed to avoid eye contact.”

Justin Vallejo1 December 2021 00:55

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Bill Clinton had ‘special catering’ on Lolita Express, says Epstein pilot

Former president Bill Clinton received the VIP treatment aboard the so-called “Lolita Express”, according to Jeffrey Epstein’s private pilot.

Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr testified at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell that he would be notified in advance if special guests like Clinton would be flying on Epstein’s jet.

Defence attorney Christian Everdell asked Mr Visoski if “special catering” was arranged in the case of Clinton, who was photographed aboard the aircraft.

Justin Vallejo1 December 2021 00:10

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Who are the alleged victims of Ghislaine Maxwell?

The prosecution put its first alleged victim on the stand, a girl they identify only as “Jane” and who was described as 14 at the time of meeting Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.

At least four alleged victims are set to testify at the trial, identified only as Minor Victim 1, Minor Victim 2, Minor Victim 3 and Minor Victim 4.

Here’s what we know from court documents about the alleged victims:

Minor Victim 1 was about 14 when she was abused by Epstein at his homes in New York and Florida. Maxwell is alleged to have involved the girl in “sexualized massages” on Epstein.

Minor Victim 2was allegedly abused at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996. Maxwell is alleged to have given an unsolicited topless massage to the girl, and encouraged her to massage Epstein.

Minor Victim 3 was 17, and over the age of consent, when she was allegedly introduced to Epstein in London. Maxwell is alleged to have encouraged her to perform sexualized massages on Epstein in 1994 and 1995.

Minor Victim 4 was 14 when she was allegedly recruited to give Epstein sexualized massages at his Palm Beach mansion between 2001 and 2004. She is also alleged to have recruited younger women for Epstein at Maxwell’s request.

Justin Vallejo30 November 2021 23:30

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Courtroom sketches from the day

“Jane”, an unidentified victim, is questioned about her experiences with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

(AP)

US attorney Maurene Comey conducts a direct examination of former Jeffrey Epstein pilot Lawrence Visoski. Photos of former Epstein assistant Sarah Kellen are displayed on monitors, one also showing Epstein.

(AP)

Justin Vallejo30 November 2021 23:00

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Accuser says Maxwell was present during some of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual assaults

Ghislaine Maxwell was in the room when Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted one of his 14-year-old victims, a court has heard.

In testimony before a New York jury, a woman known publicly only as “Jane” identified Ms Maxwell in the dock and said she had been present during some of Epstein’s assaults.

Oliver O’Connell30 November 2021 22:25



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