One of the women allegedly trafficked by accused Epstein ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell has testified to being scouted from a prestigious music camp and groomed with ‘scholarships’ as her family was in financial need.
The woman, testifying under the pseudonym ‘Jane’, described the grooming process during testimony on Tuesday, from being spotted at the prestigious Interlochen music camp in Michigan to being chatted up by Maxwell and Epstein. Their apparent concern for her near-bankrupt family’s financial situation following the death of her father from leukemia was welcome at a fragile time in her life.
Jane testified that the pair’s mention of “scholarships” was appealing, and she ultimately gave them her mother’s phone number, which led to invites for the teen to “tea” at Epstein’s home. There, Jane said she spent time “every week or two” – starting with “casual stuff” like shopping sprees and mall dates.
But things escalated quickly, Jane told the court, mentioning “odd incidents” like stepping out to the pool to find a bevy of topless and nude women, including Ghislaine. “I was just shocked because I hadn’t seen that before,” she added.
Jane says she was first abused by Epstein at his Palm Beach home as he promised to help with her artistic career. He “knew all the agents … all the photographers … and could ‘make things happen,’” he allegedly told her.
Epstein “took me in the pool house and on the right-hand side was this couch, futon-looking thing, and he just proceeded to pull me over. He sat in the corner and didn’t say a word,” she testified. Jane said Epstein then pulled his pants down, “pulled me on top of himself, and proceeded to masturbate on me.”
“I was frozen in fear. I’d never seen a penis before… There were hands everywhere,”
Jane, who was 14 when she first met Epstein and Maxwell, claimed such sexual encounters would occur “about every two weeks,” with Maxwell allegedly touching her breasts during group sex.
The accused faces six charges of allegedly conspiring with Epstein and assisting in his abuse of underage girls between 1994 and 2004. If convicted, she may spend as much as 80 years in prison. She has pleaded not guilty on all charges.