January 23, 2022

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Prosecutors bring Epstein’s massage table into court at Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial – Reuters

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NEW YORK, Dec 3 (Reuters) – A green massage table seized from Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach estate was carried into a Manhattan federal courtroom on Friday, where British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial for her role in the sex abuse of underage girls.

Maxwell is accused of recruiting and grooming girls for Epstein to sexually abuse. Many of Epstein’s encounters with teenagers began as massages before escalating, prosecutors say, calling the term massage a “ruse” to get girls to touch Epstein.

Jeffrey Parkinson, a retired police officer who assisted with the 2005 search as part of an investigation into Epstein’s conduct, testified on the fifth day of the trial that he carried the massage table out of the property after the search.

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Prosecutor Maurene Comey then directed a detective to bring the table into the Manhattan federal courtroom and display it for the jury. Parkinson told Comey he recognized it.

“It’s from the second floor south bathroom where the shower was,” Parkinson said.

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other crimes. Her attorneys argue she is being scapegoated for Epstein’s alleged crimes since Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

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Reporting by Luc Cohen;
Editing by Sandra Maler and Alistair Bell

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