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Epstein Accuser Says Ghislaine Maxwell Fondled Her at 14

Latest accuser to testify offers some of the most explicit descriptions yet
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2021 2:13 AM CST
3rd Accuser at Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Gives Explicit Testimony
In this courtroom sketch Ghislaine Maxwell, seated second from right, draws a courtroom artist, standing far left, during a courtroom break in her sex-abuse trial, Tuesday Dec. 7, 2021, in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

(Newser) – One of Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers testified Tuesday that she was just 14 years old when the British socialite had her undress, fondled her and told her she had a “great body” that financier Jeffrey Epstein would enjoy, the AP reports. The woman, who was identified only by her first name, Carolyn, was the third witness to testify at the sex trafficking trial about being sexually abused by Epstein in encounters facilitated by Maxwell, his one-time girlfriend and, later, employee. Carolyn offered some of the most explicit descriptions so far at the New York trial of Maxwell’s alleged grooming of underage victims, who prosecutors say were lured into “a pyramid scheme of abuse.”

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At times choking up, she testified that she was a heavy drug user and middle school dropout when she was first taken to Epstein’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, by an older teenage friend, Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre. They were greeted by Maxwell, who said “You can take her upstairs and show her what to do,” Carolyn testified. She said Giuffre and Epstein had sex while she watched. She added she was paid $300 in $100 bills at the end of the encounter. After that, she became a regular at the estate, hired to perform sexualized massages. Maxwell knew she was only 14 at the time, but that didn’t dissuade her, Carolyn testified. Carolyn testified that she and Epstein also discussed the fact that she was underage and that she was a victim of sex abuse as a young child.

She told jurors that during one encounter in Epstein’s massage room in the early 2000s, Maxwell “felt my boobs and my hips and my buttocks and she said I had a great body for Mr. Epstein and his friends.” Carolyn testified that when she tried to return to massage work at 18 because she needed money, Epstein only wanted her if she had younger friends to bring around. “That’s when I realized I was too old,” she said. Prosecutors say Carolyn was one of several vulnerable teens from troubled backgrounds who were pulled into a scheme where Maxwell and Epstein would encourage girls in low-income parts of Florida to find other young victims to bring to his home, in exchange for a finder’s fee. Giuffre would later become perhaps the best known of Epstein’s accusers for her allegations that the financier and Maxwell flew her around the world, starting at age 17, to have sex with numerous famous and influential men.

(Read more Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)

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