Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Second accuser testifies she had sexual contact with Epstein age 17

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  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
  • Ghislaine Maxwell
    Ghislaine Maxwell
    Socialite
Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of sex trafficking, attends her trial near an image of Jeffrey Epstein on a screen in a courtroom sketch (REUTERS)
Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of sex trafficking, attends her trial near an image of Jeffrey Epstein on a screen in a courtroom sketch (REUTERS)

A second woman who claims Ghislaine Maxwell groomed her for abuse by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein while she was a teenager took the witness stand in the British socialite’s sex trafficking trial on Monday.

The woman, who is testifying under the pseudonym Kate, is the second of four women named in a 2021 indictment against Maxwell. The trial, which began last week, is set to last through January.

Kate said she was 17 when she met Maxwell for tea at her London townhouse in 1994.

The witness recounted how she was an aspiring musician at the time, and that Maxwell said her boyfriend could help with her career.

“I left there feeling exhilarated and like somebody wanted to be my friend,” Kate said.

Because she was over the age of consent in the UK at the time, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan instructed the jury before her testimony began that any sexual encounters she described were not “illegal sex acts.”

Kate said when she returned to the townhouse weeks later, Epstein - Maxwell's boyfriend - was there. Kate said she massaged Epstein’s feet at Maxwell's request, and said Epstein was impressed at how strong she was.

Kate said that a few weeks later, Maxwell called her and asked her to come give Epstein a massage at the house. Kate said she went to the house and Maxwell led her to a massage room, where Epstein was present in a bathrobe. Maxwell closed the door, and Kate said she then had a sexual encounter with Epstein.

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges. Her lawyers have said the memories of the four women have been corrupted over the years, and say Maxwell is only being prosecuted because Epstein is no longer alive.

The globetrotting investor killed himself in 2019 at the age of 66 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting sex trafficking charges.

Last week, jurors heard from a woman known by the pseudonym Jane who testified that Epstein sexually abused her beginning in 1994 while she was 14. Maxwell sometimes participated in their encounters, which often began as massages before escalating, Jane said.

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