Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Ex-staffer testifies ‘many, many, many’ young women visited mansion

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A former housekeeper testified Thursday that the two women who accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing them as teenagers were frequent visitors to a Palm Beach mansion called by Epstein or his associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

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Taking the stand at Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial, Juan Patricio Alessi said one of his accusers, who testified earlier this week under the pseudonym “Jane”, initially came home with his mother and later Returned alone several times. She went to the movies and took a plane trip with Epstein, Maxwell and their guests, Alesi said.

He said one of Epstein’s allegations, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, came up “too many times” after meeting Maxwell at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. Alesi said he was driving Maxwell when he saw her stop the car so he could get out and talk to Giuffre, who was working as a spa attendant.

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Alesi said that he would sometimes pick up Giuffre or “Jane” from his homes on the instructions of Maxwell or Epstein, and bring visitors to his tables at Maxwell.

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After that, “it wasn’t my job to see where they were,” he said.

Once, Giuffre brought her boyfriend home with her, she said, and Maxwell said the man needed to leave the car and wait.

Alessi said she also saw “many, many, many” young adult female visitors, often topless by the pool, who appeared in their late 20s.

He worked at Epstein’s sprawling home from 1990 to 2002—and admitted that he returned two years later to steal $6,300 in cash from Epstein’s desk. He said that Epstein confronted him about the theft and agreed not to charge if Alessi repaid him, which Alessi said he did.

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Epstein killed himself in prison in 2019 while on charges of sex trafficking that he abused dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida. The case against Maxwell stems from four now-adult women who said he helped them torment them.

Giuffre’s allegations, including claims that Epstein and Maxwell smuggled other leading men ages 17 and 18, who have denied it, are not part of the case.

Maxwell, 59, denies the charges against him and his lawyers say prosecutors are going after him because they cannot try Epstein.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they decide to tell their stories publicly, as Giuffre has done.

Maxwell, a British socialite, was Epstein’s lifelong girlfriend and later, employee. Prosecutors said she took the girls on shopping trips and movie outings, talked to them about their lives and encouraged them to accept financial help from them.

The government also says he helped create an erotic environment by talking to girls about sex and encouraging them to give them Epstein massages, and a woman identified as “Jane” testified this week that she Maxwell had sex with Epstein at the age of 14. in the room and occasionally parting. Maxwell’s lawyers pointed to FBI documents that said the woman gave a separate account to the government in 2019; He questioned the accuracy of the documents.

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Alessi portrayed a tyrannical Maxwell stating that she was the “lady of the house” and handing over a 58-page booklet with rules for employees on how to address her and Epstein, what type of notepad to use for her. be placed on the desk.

“The checklist will help you make sure that every task is completed and that even the smallest detail is not overlooked,” the book states, explaining the needs of Epstein and Maxwell to employees. Instruction to “try to guess” and “see nothing, hear nothing, say “nothing” except when spoken of.

“I should have been blind, deaf and dumb and said nothing about their lives,” Alessi said.

Employees had to “drive home like a five-star hotel”, with Epstein’s cars washed and stocked with $100 bills for his weekend trips and avoided looking him in the eye. Maxwell said he didn’t like this kind of eye contact, according to Alessi, who said he and Epstein called him “John” instead of “Juan.”

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Earlier on Thursday, psychologist Lisa Rocchio testified that child sex abusers often groom their victims in a progression that includes gift-giving, building a sense of trust and gradually becoming more sexually charged talking and touching. .

Prior to the trial, Maxwell’s lawyers unsuccessfully tried to block Rocchio’s testimony, saying it lacked sufficient scientific basis.

After taking his stand, defense attorney Jeffrey Pagluka suggested that some of the things he described as grooming — like giving gifts, taking children to special places or paying attention to them — might also be instinctive.

He recalled, for example, that his grandfather took him to the Bronx Zoo as a child.

“I think he wasn’t going to take you there for sexual abuse,” she said, adding that simple kindness isn’t preparing “in the context of a healthy and normal relationship.”

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