Maxwell jury to see video of notorious Epstein home

Posted at 4:56 PM, December 3, 2021 and last updated 7:45 AM, June 2, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors at the sex-abuse trial of Ghislaine Maxwell are expected Friday to see a law enforcement videotape of the interior of a Florida estate where prosecutors say she and financier Jeffrey Epstein exploited underage victims when the pair lived there together.

The video was shot during a 2005 raid at the Palm Beach home, which was decorated with nude photos and paintings of young women — décor that federal prosecutors in Manhattan claim is proof of a sexualized atmosphere encouraged by Maxwell, Epstein’s “partner in crime.”

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, left, confers with lead defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim before Judge Alison Nathan takes the bench during Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in New York. A longtime pilot for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein resumed his testimony at Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial Tuesday, saying that the British socialite charged with helping the financier find teenage girls to sexually abuse was “Number 2” in the hierarchy of Epstein’s operations. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

Prosecutors have alleged the British socialite groomed teen girls by taking them on shopping trips and movie outings, talking to them about their lives and encouraging them to accept financial help from Epstein.

The government also says she helped to create a sexualized atmosphere by talking with the girls about sex and encouraging them to give Epstein massages. A woman identified as “Jane” testified this week that she had sexual interactions with Epstein at age 14 with Maxwell in the room and sometimes participating.

Maxwell, 59, denies the allegations against her, and her lawyers say prosecutors are going after her because they can’t try Epstein. She was Epstein’s onetime girlfriend and, later, employee.

On Friday, former Epstein housekeeper Juan Patricio Alessi returned to the witness stand of Friday to face cross-examination over his testimony that “Jane” and another woman who has accused Epstein of sexually abusing her as a teens were repeated visitors at the Palm Beach mansion, where Maxwell was “the lady of the house.”

A lawyer for the British socialite sought to discredit Alessi — who worked for Epstein from 1990 to 2002 — by confronting him with a deposition from a civil case that the defense says was inconsistent with his trial testimony.

Alessi claimed on Friday that none of the many young women who visited the Florida home alerted him to any misconduct.

“I wish they would have because I would have done something,” he said.