January 21, 2022

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Maxwell was ‘number two’ in Epstein’s hierarchy, pilot says at sex-abuse trial – Reuters

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NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) – An accuser — a woman known by the pseudonym Jane — of Ghislaine Maxwell began testifying in the British financier’s sex-abuse trial in Manhattan on Tuesday.

A prosecutor said during opening statements on Monday that Maxwell and late financier Jeffrey Epstein met Jane in 1994 at a summer camp when she was 14. Epstein introduced himself as a donor interested in funding her education but ended up sexually abusing Jane, the prosecutor said.

Maxwell, 59, faces sex trafficking and other charges for allegedly recruiting and grooming Jane and three other underage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. She has pleaded not guilty, and her lawyers have said she is being scapegoated for Epstein’s alleged crimes.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-abuse charges.

In opening statements, a defense attorney for Maxwell described Jane as a talented singer who received Epstein’s financial assistance. The attorney said Jane never accused Maxwell of wrongdoing before Epstein died, and told the jury to listen for “internal inconsistencies” in Jane’s testimony.

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Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Sandra Maler and Mark Porter

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