'Like It Was No Big Deal': Accuser Describes Sexual Encounters With Ghislaine Maxwell

As testimony continued in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell Tuesday, the first of four women described as key accusers began her testimony against Maxwell, according to The Associated Press.

The witness, a woman in her early 40s, was introduced to jurors as "Jane," a pseudonym she prefers to use, partially to protect an acting career of over 20 years.

She testified that she endured sexual encounters with Jeffrey Epstein spanning from 1994 to 1997, beginning when she was 14 years old, and Maxwell was often in the room and acted "very casual...like it was no big deal."

She said she met Epstein and Maxwell in 1994 at a music camp when she was a 14-year-old girl who wanted to pursue a singing career. Soon after, the pair met her mother and spent more time around her, and eventually allegedly took the girl shopping to stores like Victoria's Secret for clothing and underwear.

Sometime later, Epstein allegedly one day took her into a pool house at his Palm Beach home, pulled down his pants, and "proceeded to masturbate" in front of her, she testified.

"I was frozen in fear," she said. "I'd never seen a penis before. ... I was terrified and felt gross and felt ashamed."

She also testified that Maxwell taught her to give sexual massages to Epstein, occasionally participating in future encounters.

Maxwell is accused of finding and "grooming" young girls like Tuesday's witness for Epstein and herself to sexually abuse from 1994 to at least 2004.

She has pleaded not guilty. One of her lawyers said in an opening statement Monday that Maxwell is being turned into a scapegoat for Epstein, who died by suicide at the age of 66 while in a Manhattan jail in 2019 while he was awaiting his sex trafficking trial.

For more reporting from The Associated Press, see below.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, Sexual Abuse
In this courtroom sketch, assistant U.S. attorney Alison Moe questions an unidentified victim about her experiences with Jeffery Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell Tuesday in New York. Elizabeth Williams/Associated Press

The witness testified in a quiet but steady voice, though she got choked up twice and also dabbed at her nose with a tissue as she described the sexual encounters.

She also largely avoided looking at Maxwell, except when she pointed an index finger when asked to identify her. Maxwell maintained a steady gaze in the witness's direction, occasionally writing notes that she passed to lawyers. Some jurors leaned forward to hear the witness while occasionally glancing at Maxwell.

She said she was eating ice cream with friends at the music camp when Maxwell approached with a Yorkshire Terrier, drawing their attention. After her friends left, she spoke with Epstein, who had then arrived and introduced himself as a donor. They discovered that they both lived in Palm Beach, Florida, she said.

The woman and her mother soon received an invitation to Epstein's home and though her mother was not included in subsequent invites, she remained "very impressed and enamored with the wealth, the affluence," and believed Maxwell and Epstein must really think her daughter was special, the woman testified.

Epstein and Maxwell asked about her life after her father's sudden death in a way that didn't happen at home, where soul-searching conversations never occurred, she said.

Another time, she was taken to a massage room where he and Maxwell both took advantage of her, she said.

"There were hands everywhere and Jeffrey proceeded to masturbate again," she said.

Other encounters involved sex toys or turned into oral sex "orgies" with other young women and Maxwell, she added.

On cross-examination, defense lawyer Laura Menninger immediately attacked the witness's credibility, asking why she waited over 20 years to report the alleged abuse by Maxwell to law enforcement and why she brought two personal injury lawyers along to her first meeting with the FBI.

Menninger also asked if it was true she had previously spoken to her siblings and others close to her about Epstein's behavior, but left Maxwell out of the earlier accounts.

"You never mentioned Ghislaine Maxwell?" the lawyer asked.

"I don't know," the witness responded, adding she only remembered being uncomfortable with going into all the details.

Menninger also elicited testimony from the woman that she was awarded $5 million from a fund set up to compensate victims of Epstein and received $2.9 million once lawyer fees and expenses were deducted.

The cross-examination was expected to continue Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, a former pilot for Epstein testified that he never saw evidence of sexual activity on planes as he flew his boss and others — including a prince and ex-presidents — for nearly three decades.

Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr., the trial's first witness, acknowledged that he never encountered sexual activity aboard two jets he piloted for roughly 1,000 trips between 1991 and 2019.

Although he was a government witness, Visoski's testimony seemed to aid the defense of Maxwell as he told Maxwell attorney Christian Everdell that he never saw sexual activity when he left the cockpit for coffee or a bathroom break and never found sex toys or used condoms when he cleaned up.

And when he was asked if he ever saw sex acts with underage females, he answered: "Absolutely not."

Visoski also acknowledged that ex-President Bill Clinton was a passenger on a few flights in the 2000s and he had piloted planes with Britain's Prince Andrew, the late U.S. Sen. John Glenn of Ohio — the first American to orbit Earth — and former President Donald Trump aboard.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein, Sexual Abuse
Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, speaks to the media at a press conference to announce the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime girlfriend and accused accomplice of deceased accused sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on July 02, 2020 in New York City. An accuser took the stand in Maxwell's trial Tuesday, testifying that she was sexually abused by both Epstein and Maxwell from 1994 to 1997. Spencer Platt/Getty Images