Maxwell accuser felt ‘frozen’ when Epstein climbed into her bed, court told

New York: A fourth Ghislaine Maxwell accuser testified at the British socialite’s sex abuse trial on Friday (local time), recalling that she felt “frozen” when the late financier Jeffrey Epstein climbed into bed with her at his New Mexico ranch when she was 16.

The testimony by the woman, Annie Farmer, comes as the prosecution has said it could rest its case by the end of the week.

A courtroom sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell, left, conferring with her defence attorney Bobbi Sternheim.Credit:AP

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges for her alleged role in recruiting and grooming four teenagers for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Her attorneys say she is being scapegoated because Epstein is no longer alive.

The financier took his own life in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Farmer, who has waived anonymity, said she was 16 when she visited Epstein at the ranch in the spring of 1996. Farmer said she believed Epstein would help pay for her college education.

She said she felt uncomfortable going to Epstein’s ranch because he had held her hand and caressed her in a movie theatre during an earlier meeting in New York, but Farmer testified that she didn’t believe Epstein would touch her at the ranch with Maxwell present.

While at the ranch, Farmer agreed to receive a massage from Maxwell, who touched her breasts during the massage, Farmer said.

The door was open, and while she did not see Epstein during the encounter, she said she thought he was nearby.

“I just had this sense that he could see me,” Farmer said. “I just wanted so badly to get off the table and have this massage be done.”

Later on, Farmer said she was in bed when Epstein opened the door to her room and playfully told her that he wanted to “cuddle.” He then got into her bed and “pressed his body into me.”

“I felt kind of frozen” she said.

She said she had to use the bathroom, which she described as an “excuse” to get away from Epstein.

Before Farmer’s testimony, jurors had heard from three women who said they were teenagers when Maxwell set them up for sexual abuse by Epstein. Those witnesses said Maxwell encouraged them to give Epstein massages that would escalate into sexual encounters.

Farmer, the only one of the four to testify under her full name, said she had no further contact with Epstein or Maxwell after the New Mexico trip.

US District Judge Alison Nathan instructed jurors that any physical contact Farmer had with Epstein was not “illegal sexual activity” under New Mexico’s laws.


The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

Most Viewed in World

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article