Watch live as Ghislaine Maxwell trial continues in New York City
Day four of the trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is underway in New York City, as the 59-year-old answers to charges related to her alleged involvement in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes.
Today began with testimony from the finance director of a Manhattan school and Dr Lisa Rocchio, an expert on the grooming of children by sexual predators. We also expect to see second accuser Annie Farmer waive her anonymity to testify.
The longest and most compelling testimony so far in the trial came from “Jane”, the first accuser to take the stand, who gave graphic details about the abuse she suffered.
The court had previously heard from Epstein’s longtime pilot Larry Visoski who flew passengers including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Donald Trump, and said he never saw either Ms Maxwell nor Epstein being inappropriate with a minor.
Ms Maxwell, who spent decades rubbing shoulders with British royals and US presidents, is accused of recruiting and grooming underage girls for the late disgraced financier to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
The daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, Ms Maxwell faces the prospect of up to 35 years of jail if she is found guilty. The trial is expected to last six weeks.
Dr Rocchio adds that victims are not likely to report abuse to the police and that the longer-term impact of the abuse is that they are at higher risk of “adverse outcomes”.
There are no further questions from the prosecution.
Judge Nathan calls for the morning break.
Dr Rocchio defines grooming
After straightforward questioning that established that Dr Rocchio had not interviewed anyone connected with the case and that her pay does not depend on the outcome of the trial, she was simply asked to define “grooming”.
“Strategies to get children into sex.”
She says she has seen examples in the Boy Scouts through camping trips, and in other cases through gifts such as jewellery to make a child feel special.
Asked how common it is for a child to be repeatedly abused by the person, she replies that it is very common and that it is usually someone close to the child.
In terms of the environment in which grooming takes place, she says that the perpetrator develops trust with people around the child such as the parents.
New witness: Dr Lisa Rocchio
Dr Lisa Rocchio is a psychotherapist who acts as an expert witness in the fields of traumatic stress and dissociation, intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, victimisation, discrimination, and harassment.
She has been brought in by the prosecution to discuss grooming.
The defence question Mr Kane and ask if he has any idea whether Epstein paid the fees. Mr Kane says he does not.
Asked whether the mother is listed as unemployed, Mr Kane replies that the form says she is self-employed as an interior decorator.
As the exhibit is sealed, only the jury, judge and legal teams have access to the names on the forms. It is also evident that the names of the listed agent and prior principal are also on the form in addition to the mother, student, and Epstein.
New witness: Paul Kane of New York’s Professional Children’s School
Day four of the trial begins with a new witness — Paul Kane, director of finance of New York’s Professional Children’s School.
The school is an independent day school on West 60th St in Manhattan serving grades six to 12.
Mr Kane is asked by the prosecution to identify a document, which he recognises as an enrollment application for a student.
Asked what happens when such a form is received, he says they contact the family by phone and then invite them for a tour of the school and a conversation.
Without mentioning the name of the student on the application, Mr Kane is asked what grade the person on the form was applying for, to which he replies: “12th grade, due to a move to New York.”
Listed as the person of financial responsibility on the form is Mr Jeffrey Epstein.
Alleged victim Teresa Helm enters court
Alleged victim Teresa Helm, who gave an interview to the BBC, was seen entering the court with attorney Sigrid McCawley as day four of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins.
Second accuser Annie Farmer takes to the stand
Day four of the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking trial will begin on Thursday morning, and the 59-year-old socialite’s second accuser is expected to take the stand.
Annie Farmer is the only one of Ms Maxeell’s four accusers who will testify without a pseudonym.
Ms Farmer, a 42-year-old psychotherapist, claims she was flown to Jefrey Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996 at the age of 16 where she was groomed and given sexualised massages.
Ms Farmer has recounted the alleged abuse for the Netflix documentary Filthy Rich, and in numerous media interviews over the years.
During the defense’s opening statement, Bobbi Sternheim said Ms Maxwell met with Ms Farmer only once in Santa Fe.
“You should wonder why she is even a part of this case. Because from our perspective, what happened in New Mexico is not illegal conduct under the terms of this indictment,” Ms Sternheim told the jury on Monday.
Ms Sternheim said Ms Farmer had received $1.5 million from a victim’s compensation fund.
What are the charges in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex abuse trial?
The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of recruiting and grooming girls for deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse, got underway on Monday in New York federal court.
Here is an explanation of the charges Maxwell faces and her expected defence:
British socialite’s trial underway in New York
British woman called Emmy took part in ‘sexualised massages’, said witness
A British woman called Emmy was named by witness “Jane” as having taken part in “sexualised massages.”
Laura Menninger, Maxwell’s lawyer, asked Jane about Emmy: “You said that Emmy was British and that she was nice and cool. She was involved in the group massages with you? She was involved with the sexual contact?”
“Jane” replied: “Yes.”
She went on to describe four other women who took part in the massages and who she thought were models.
The “tall” and “thin” women were apparently called Sophie, Eva, Michelle and Kelly, the witness recalled.
Finance executive Daniel Besselsen to return to the court to give evidence
Daniel Besselsen will return to the stand on day four of the trial.
The finance executive at the Interlochen Center for the Arts the nonprofit organisation behind the summer camp where witness “Jane” said she first met Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein will give evidence on Thursday.
Mr Besselsen provided records which comprised donor letters confirming Epstein and Maxwell’s relationship to the camp. These included one addressed to Maxwell saying that a lodge had been reserved for the use of Epstein’s in August of 1994.
It is thought that this is where the couple met Jane.
Epstein had funded a two-bedroom lodge, known as the Jeffrey Epstein Scholarship Lodge, at Interlochen in northern Michigan where parents, donors and other guests could stay.
The lodge’s name has now been changed to the Green Lake Lodge.
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