NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors accomplished presenting their case in opposition to Ghislaine Maxwell on Friday, after a key accuser on the British socialite’s sex-abuse trial testified that Maxwell and her companion, Jeffrey Epstein, compelled themselves on her when she was simply 16.
Annie Farmer advised jurors she accepted an invite to the financier’s sprawling New Mexico ranch in 1996 hoping that Maxwell and Epstein would assist her with educational endeavors. Instead, she stated, Maxwell ended up massaging her breasts and Epstein climbed into mattress with out her permission.
Three others have asserted on the trial that started two weeks in the past that Maxwell recruited them to provide Epstein massages meant as a ruse for sexual abuse.
Maxwell, 59, has denied prices she groomed underage ladies for Epstein, who killed himself in jail in 2019. Her attorneys say the federal government is making her a scapegoat for alleged intercourse crimes dedicated by her onetime boyfriend and moved instantly for a judgment of acquittal after prosecutors rested Friday afternoon.
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan heard temporary arguments and rejected the request that she acquit Maxwell with out the jury ever getting the case.
The choose advised the jury they are going to return Thursday to listen to the protection case, which an legal professional estimated would probably final two to 3 days. The choose has advised that closing arguments — at a trial initially projected to final six weeks — would possibly happen as early as Dec. 20 if the protection presentation subsequent week solely lasts a day or two.
In her testimony, Farmer recalled the undesirable bodily contact making her really feel like she “just wanted the weekend to be over. … I wanted to be done with it.”
She added: “All these experiences made me feel like they had a very different interest in me.”
Asked by a prosecutor initially of her testimony if she noticed anybody within the courtroom who had ever given her a therapeutic massage, Farmer recognized Maxwell, who was sitting on the protection desk Farmer.
Farmer, now 42, took the stand utilizing her true identification — a departure from the choice by three different accusers with related tales who testified underneath pseudonyms or first names solely to guard their privateness.
Two of the others who testified stated they had been simply 14 when the abuse began and that Maxwell generally participated within the encounters.
Farmer testified that she met Epstein at age 16 on a 1996 journey to New York City to go to her older sister, who was working for him at his Manhattan mansion. When they visited him on the dwelling, he “seemed very friendly and down to earth,” and even provided to mentor her, she stated.
She stated that in an outing to the films with Epstein, he reached over to carry her hand and caress her leg.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” she stated. “It was not something I was expecting at all.”
When Farmer returned dwelling, she stayed in contact with the rich financier and accepted an invite to journey to New Mexico with a airplane ticket he paid for although, she stated, “after what happened in the movie theater, I didn’t want to be alone with him.”
She stated she initially felt extra snug as a result of Maxwell was there. But once they took her to the films, he “right away began to hold my hand” and rub her foot and arm all through the movie with no effort to cover the conduct from Maxwell, she stated.
Once dwelling, Maxwell insisted on giving Farmer a therapeutic massage and advised her to take off her garments, Farmer testified. Maxwell “pulled down the sheet and exposed my breasts and starting rubbing on my breasts,” Farmer stated.
“It didn’t make sense to me that would happen,” she stated. “I so badly wanted to get off the table and have the massage be done.”
Farmer accepted $1.5 million from a fund set as much as compensate Epstein victims, she testified.
The encounters occurred in New Mexico, which didn’t have a particular age of consent statute, though its legal guidelines criminalized all sexual contact of a minor underneath the age of 13 when coercion or power is concerned.
On cross examination, a protection lawyer repeatedly emphasised by means of her questions that Maxwell was not concerned in essentially the most egregious conduct described by Farmer and elicited that Farmer was unsure she was bare throughout her therapeutic massage, though she was sure that her breasts had been uncovered.
Prosecutors additionally known as Farmer’s former boyfriend and her mom as witnesses to assist her testimony.
David James Mulligan, 42, testified that Farmer advised him that she was “touched on the breast” when she was massaged in New Mexico.
“She told me that she felt fearful and awkward and helpless,” he stated.
Janice Swain, 71, Farmer’s mom, testified that Epstein advised her earlier than the New Mexico journey that her daughter can be joined by 20 to 25 different college students there.
Swain stated when Farmer arrived dwelling from the journey, she was “quiet and withdrawn.” When Farmer lastly did say one thing at a later date, she stated: “I don’t want to talk about it and I’m not going to let it ruin my life,” the mom recalled.
The Associated Press doesn’t determine individuals who say they had been victims of sexual abuse except they arrive ahead publicly. Although Farmer was not recognized by identify in courtroom paperwork, the training psychologist has been outspoken in describing her experiences in interviews with ABC and The New York Times.
Maxwell has been jailed since she was arrested in New Hampshire in July 2020. When she sought bail, Farmer requested the choose to disclaim it, calling her a “psychopath.”