The closely-watched trial of Ghislaine Maxwell continued in New York on Thursday, with attorneys for the accused sex trafficker and former girlfriend to the late Jeffrey Epstein calling their own witnesses to rebuff the accusations made by the prosecution last week.
Maxwell, a British socialite who famously dated the notorious pedophile, has long been accused of recruiting underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse and has even been accused of abusing some of the purported victims herself.
The first witness in her defense was Cimberly Espinosa, a former assistant to Maxwell who worked in Epstein’s New York office.
Espinosa spoke favorably of Maxwell, who the defense is trying to paint as a victim, rather than an accomplice, to Epstein.
“I highly respected Ghislaine,” Espinosa gushed, according to The Guardian. “I looked up to her very much, and I actually learned a lot from her.”
She also described Epstein, who had prior convictions for soliciting minors for sex when he died awaiting trial on federal child sex trafficking charges in 2019, as “a giver” and “kind.”
The terms in which she considered Epstein to be altruistic appears to be in entirely financial.
“He was generous, and I always knew him to be donating to charities and just being a kind person,” Espinosa said, adding that Epstein also “paid for a personal trainer” for her and even booked her massages — a primary means through which Maxwell and Epstein’s accusers say that they were subject to abuse was by being tasked with giving the older man “massages.”
Espinosa also said she can “attribute my career right now as an executive assistant to what I learned supporting Ghislaine.”
She worked for Maxwell between 1996 and 2002, and one of the big tasks they took on was to set up Epstein’s island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Little St. James (or “Pedo Island” or “Little St. Jeff’s” depending on who you ask), part of which included overseeing that extra palm trees and sand were shipped in to complete the scenery.
The prosecution, however, didn’t miss a beat.
When it was their turn to question Espinosa, they managed to zero in on a massive flaw in her testimony on Maxwell’s part.
You see, the four witnesses called by the state who allege sexual abuse on Maxwell and/or Epstein’s part say that they were abused at Maxwell’s London mansion or Epstein’s New Mexico ranch and Palm Beach abode.
Espinosa was specifically asked by the defense about “Jane,” who testified that she was repeatedly sexually abused by the notorious sex offender in his Palm Beach mansion, where she was paid to give him massages when she was just 14.
“I was abused pretty much every time that I would go over to his house, and it all started to seem the same after a while — whether it was just him or there were other women involved, or me and Jeffrey and Ghislaine, it all started to seem the same,” Jane told jurors during her own testimony earlier this month.
Espinosa, according to her testimony, thought that Jane “looked 18” when she saw the young woman at Epstein’s office. At the time, she testified, Jane’s mother told her that “Jane was Jeffrey’s goddaughter.”
“I thought it was a loving relationship,” Espinosa testified.
This was where the prosecutor found the weak link, as The Independent reported.
When it was their turn to question the witness, they posed to her one, simple question.
“You never went to Palm Beach, right?”
“No,” Espinosa replied.
“No further questions,” the prosecutor said.
Everdell: did you ever seen Jeffrey Epstein involved with young girls?
Everdell: No further questions.
Judge Nathan: Cross.
AUSA: You never went to Palm Beach, right?
AUSA: No further questions.
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) December 16, 2021
I don’t imagine any were needed at this point.
There have been no accusations, that I’m aware of, that Epstein abused girls in his New York office, nor while Espinosa and Maxwell were getting Little St. James ready for the financier and his wealthy buddies.
The abuse that Jane testified she suffered at Epstein’s hands, under Maxwell’s direction and eye, occurred in Palm Beach, where Espinosa never worked for the notorious one-time couple.
All the defense managed to prove at this point was something that has been well-established all along: Epstein and Maxwell worked hard to keep “the help” insulated from their sordid affairs.
Espinosa may have enjoyed the lavish gifts Epstein showered upon her and the boss babe training she got from Maxwell, but she had nothing substantial to offer in the way of personal testimony that contradicts or refutes anything established by the prosecution.
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