A girl testified that when she was 16-years-old Ghislaine Maxwell gave her a nude therapeutic massage, as the federal government on Friday rested its intercourse trafficking case in opposition to the British socialite and former Jeffrey Epstein confidante.
Annie Farmer informed jurors she had been a highschool pupil keen to speak about college plans whereas visiting Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico when Maxwell urged a therapeutic massage. She disrobed at Maxwell’s path, Farmer mentioned. After a while, Maxwell pulled down a sheet, she added, and started to rub the higher a part of her breasts.
“I used to be very uncomfortable and fearful and needed to get off the desk,” Farmer recalled on Friday, often sobbing.
She additionally testified that Epstein climbed into mattress together with her on the journey, prompting her to take refuge within the toilet, and that Maxwell confirmed her learn how to therapeutic massage his toes. “He appeared to be having fun with it. He made groaning noises,” Farmer recalled.
Farmer had gone on the weekend journey believing that it was a bunch occasion for promising college students funded by Epstein, David Mulligan, her highschool boyfriend, testified. “However she informed me when she arrived she was the one woman there,” Mulligan recalled.
Farmer informed the FBI in 2006 that “Epstein or Maxwell” was chargeable for cancelling her older sister’s journey to the ranch that weekend on the final minute, basically leaving her remoted and susceptible.
She was the final of 4 ladies accusers to take the stand in opposition to Maxwell throughout a two-week authorities case that has featured typically harrowing testimony. Prosecutors are searching for to show that Maxwell helped groom ladies, some as younger as 14, for Epstein to sexually abuse. In some cases, prosecutors additionally say she participated.
Maxwell has denied wrongdoing. Her legal professionals have accused the federal government of making an attempt to make her a scapegoat for Epstein, who died by suicide in a New York jail cell after his arrest in July 2019. They’ve additionally claimed that the federal government’s witnesses are searching for a monetary “jackpot”, as Bobbi Sternheim, one in all Maxwell’s legal professionals, put it.
The 4 accusers embody an American cleaning soap opera actress, an aspiring British singer, a single mom with a drug drawback and Farmer, a psychologist. All grew up in circumstances the place their father was not current, both due to loss of life or divorce. They had been additionally, to various levels, financially strapped, they testified.
Farmer is the one one of many 4 accusers to make use of her full identify in court docket. Her testimony was not a part of the felony expenses in opposition to Maxwell as a result of she met the authorized age of consent in New Mexico — 16 — through the related interval. Nonetheless, her account was in step with a sample that prosecutors have established with different accusers: guarantees of patronage by Epstein led to social outings with him and Maxwell that quickly veered into grownup and sexualised conditions.
Farmer met Epstein by means of her older sister, Maria, who labored for him as an artist in New York Metropolis, she mentioned. He paid for her to fly from Arizona for a Christmas go to in 1995. In her teenage diary, she recalled the delight of seeing The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and ingesting champagne at Epstein’s mansion. However she additionally expressed unease at his behaviour when the trio went to the flicks. Epstein, she testified, started caressing her hand and rubbing her leg whereas her sister sat on his different facet.
“It was somewhat bizarre. A type of issues that’s laborious to elucidate,” she wrote in a diary entry from January 7, 1996 that was proven to the court docket. She added: “I feel he’s only a relaxed man and likes to flirt or was being fatherly or one thing. I do know this appears like me making an attempt to justify him doing one thing bizarre, however it isn’t.”
Epstein repeated the behaviour, extra blatantly, Farmer mentioned when she went to the flicks with him and Maxwell through the New Mexico journey in April. She would later scold herself, Mulligan testified, for not having the braveness to report the abuse. She was fearful, he mentioned, that doing so would jeopardise her sister’s job with Epstein.
On cross-examination, Laura Menninger, Maxwell’s lawyer, established that there was no point out of her consumer in Farmer’s diaries. She additionally confirmed that Farmer had stored a pair of cowboy boots that Epstein had purchased her through the journey, and continued to put on them through the years — suggesting her expertise had not been so traumatic.
She didn’t put on them to work, Farmer mentioned, however she allowed: “I did put on them after I went two-stepping.”