Elizabeth Williams / AP
The jury in Ghislaine Maxwell’s federal sex trafficking trial heard her first testimony on Tuesday, including from a woman who claims Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted her when she was underage.
A pilot who flew Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets also spoke on Tuesday, saying that over the years his passengers have included Maxwell’s accuser as well as wealthy and powerful guests such as former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as British Prince Andrew and the late Senator John Glenn.
The accuser, using the pseudonym Jane, is the first of four women expected to speak out in court over their allegations of sexual abuse. She told jurors she was only 14 when Maxwell and Epstein introduced themselves to her at an art and music camp in Michigan.
Jane then went to Epstein’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, one of the many places where she said Epstein and Maxwell sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions.
Jane said the abuse took place over several years: “It ruined my self-esteem, my self-esteem,” she said, according to journalist Adam Klasfeld from the Law & Crime website.
When questioning Jane, prosecutors described Maxwell as creeping into the young woman’s life, preparing her for Epstein’s abuse. But Maxwell’s defense team have insisted on why it took years before she accuses Maxwell of abusing her. And they noted that in a civil lawsuit she received $ 5 million from a fund that compensates Epstein’s victims.
The defense team’s cross-examination of Jane continued on Wednesday, with Maxwell’s attorney Laura Menninger asking questions that tested the accuser’s memory.
At one point, Menninger asked Jane if Epstein had introduced her to Donald Trump – to which Jane replied yes, according to Klasfeld.
Unlike other Epstein accusers, Jane also said she was not asked to have sex with any of the disgraced financier’s friends or associates.
The trial is not televised or broadcast online. And while a courtroom video stream is played in an adjacent overflow room, participants are prohibited from photographing or broadcasting the proceedings.
Larry Visoski, who testified on Tuesday, flew the plane that was later dubbed the Lolita Express after allegations emerged about Epstein and the young women he often traveled with.
Visoski told the court he never saw any sexual signs on the plane, and he said the young women he saw appeared to be of legal age. But he also asserted prosecutors’ perspective on global power dynamics, calling Maxwell “No.2” to Epstein’s “big No.1”.