The fourth day of Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex abuse trial kicked off on Thursday with testimony from an official at a school that a Maxwell accuser said now-deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein paid for her to attend.
The woman, known by the pseudonym Jane, accused Maxwell of setting her up for abuse by Epstein when she was 14, and sometimes participating in the encounters.
She was the first of four accusers expected to testify against the British socialite in federal court in Manhattan during the projected six-week trial.
The government’s first witness on Thursday was Paul Kane, the director of finance at the Professional Children’s School in New York. Jane testified this week that she attended the school in the 1990s, and that Epstein paid for her tuition.
Ms Maxwell (59) was arrested in July 2020. She has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges. Her attorneys say prosecutors are scapegoating her because Epstein is no longer alive.
The globetrotting former math teacher killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at age 66 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.
Ms Maxwell, a daughter of late British media baron Robert Maxwell, was employed by Epstein to manage his numerous personal properties. The pair dated in the 1990s.
Jane, an actress, testified that Epstein presented himself as a patron of the arts who could use his contacts to help her career. She said she met Britain’s Prince Andrew and former US President Donald Trump through Epstein while still a teenager.
Neither Prince Andrew nor mR Trump has been accused of criminal wrongdoing. – Reuters