NEW YORK—After two weeks of witness testimony, the prosecution in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial rested its case in federal court in lower Manhattan on Dec. 10.
Over the two weeks, four alleged victims of Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were called to testify, with Annie Farmer as the final one, also Dec. 10.
Unlike the other alleged victims, Farmer used her actual, full name. The previous witnesses used either just a first name, or a pseudonym.
Under direct examination by prosecutor Lara Pomerantz, Farmer testified that her older sister, Maria, worked for Epstein in 1995. The sister was 25 and Farmer was 16.
Farmer first met Epstein at his New York residence, when she visited her sister there, traveling from her home in Phoenix, Arizona, in December 1995.
Farmer was under the impression that Epstein would help her with her college applications. At one point he suggested an international trip would look good on one.
During her stay in New York, Epstein purchased the sisters tickets to the Broadway musical, “Phantom of the Opera.” Another evening Epstein took them to see a movie. Epstein was seated next to Farmer.
She testified that Epstein “caressed” her hand and held it during the film. She stated he also rubbed her foot and this made her “sick to [her] stomach.”
Farmer explained that she never told her sister about the incident, because she “was very confused about what happened” and was fearful her sister would lose her job if she said anything.
During her young life, Farmer sporadically kept a journal.
In an entry dated Jan. 25, 1996, she wrote, “It was a little weird,” regarding the handholding. Additionally she wrote, “It was no big deal” because “he was so nice and generous with everyone,” and thought he was “being fatherly, or something.”
Pages from the journal were admitted as evidence.
While back in Arizona, Farmer said she spoke to Epstein on the phone two or three times. It was in April 1996 when Farmer flew to Epstein’s Santa Fe ranch. She was still 16 years old.
“I was not eager to go to New Mexico,” she said. “I did not want to be alone with him.”
However, she knew Maxwell would be around, so that made her feel safer, although she questioned why these adults wanted to spend time with a teen.
This time, according to Farmer, she went to a movie with Epstein and Maxwell, and the hand caressing started again, and lasted “throughout the majority of the movie.”
“He was very blatant in doing it,” she said.
As Maxwell is purported to have done with other alleged victims, she brought up the subject of foot massages and instructed Farmer on how to give one to Epstein.
“I felt very uncomfortable,” said Farmer. “I was hoping it would be over quickly.”
This led to Maxwell giving Farmer a message. Maxwell set up a massage table in Farmer’s room on the property. “She told me to get undressed,” said Farmer.
Farmer testified she laid facedown, under a sheet, at first. Then Maxwell had her roll over, pulled the sheet down and started rubbing Farmer’s breasts.
The next morning, Farmer claims Epstein came into her bedroom and asked if she wanted to cuddle. He climbed into bed with her, wrapped his arms around her and pressed his body against hers.
She faked having to use the bathroom and stayed in there until he left.
Farmer said she did not make a journal entry regarding New Mexico, because she “did not want to think about it.”
In the summer of 1996, when Farmer was 17 years old, she took that international trip to Thailand and Vietnam. Epstein paid for it.
At some point, Farmer told her mother, Janice Swain, that “something uncomfortable” happened during the New York trip. In the fall of 1996, Farmer started dating Dave Mulligan and she told him of the incidents. Both Swain and Mulligan testified at the end of day.
Farmer disclosed that she was awarded $1.5 million from the Jeffrey Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund, and did not have to pay her lawyers, who worked pro bono.
As part of the settlement, she had to drop her lawsuit against Maxwell and Epstein.
Upon cross examination, defense attorney Laura Menninger had Farmer confirm her sister arranged for Farmer’s travel to New York.
“Ghislaine Maxwell had no logistics in your travel to New York,” stated Menninger.
“That’s correct,” said Farmer.
Farmer confirmed she had never met, or even talked to, Maxwell in New York, and that Maxwell never took Farmer to the movies while there, or pay for the international trip.
Once again, the defense used its reliable method of finding inconsistencies in current testimony by referring to depositions taken a few years ago.
Menninger had Farmer confirm that she used her journal entries to refresh her memory of events that happened 25 years ago, as well as looking up the release dates of the movies they saw.
She also had Farmer confirm there was absolutely no mention of Maxwell in any of the journal entries.
And the attorney had Farmer further confirm that the New Mexico trip was arranged on the phone by Epstein, and that Farmer didn’t meet Maxwell until after she arrived.
Menninger found several inconsistencies in Farmer’s testimony about the massage she was given by Maxwell, especially when it came to what she was wearing, or not wearing, as well as how much fondling went on, and what was fondled.
Pomerantz, on redirect, attempted to prove Farmer’s memory was credible and asked, “Do you remember Maxwell touching your breasts?”
“Yes,” said Farmer.
She further asked, “Do you need a journal entry, or a piece of paper, to remember Ghislaine Maxwell touching your breasts?”
“I do not,” she replied.
Earlier in the week, Dec. 7 began with a shakeup.
Prior to the jury being seated, Menninger explained to Judge Alison Nathan that overnight, at 3:30 am, the prosecution disclosed to the defense that “Jane”—an alleged victim of Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein who testified the week before—had called her brother, “Brian,” who was scheduled to testify that day, and had given him a heads-up on what to expect.
Additionally, Jane is purported to have said to Brian, “The defense attorney is a [expletive],” and should expect to view the application to the Interlochen Arts Academy, which had been submitted as evidence.
Menninger requested that Brian not testify until they “find out exactly what was communicated to him by Jane before he gets on the stand.”
She added, “I have not had time to research this.”
Nathan stated she was concerned about the coaching of a witness and that Jane may be subject to recall and recross.
Ultimately, Brian did not testify.
The week included testimony from another alleged victim, Carolyn.
Unlike previous witnesses Jane and “Kate,” Carolyn used her actual given name, but not her surname.
Carolyn’s story is a near repeat of Jane’s and Kate’s.
She was young (14-years-old), she came from a disfunctional family—(mother, Dorothy, was an alcoholic and drug addict)—and was introduced to one of Epstein’s “massage rooms” early on.
In her case, however, it was not Maxwell who initiated contact. Carolyn was introduced to Maxwell by her boyfriend Shawn and Virginia Roberts, who was already involved with Maxwell and Epstein.
Carolyn sounded nervous and spoke in nearly a whisper.
Roberts, according to Carolyn, told her she could make cash by giving Epstein massages.
“I was going to make a lot of money,” she said.
Carolyn testified that at her first time at Epstein’s Palm Beach estate, she and Roberts entered the kitchen and Maxwell told Roberts, “You can take her upstairs and show her what to do.”
Roberts and Carolyn met Epstein in the massage room, and Roberts took off her clothes. She asked Carolyn if she’d be comfortable taking off hers.
Carolyn testified she only removed her outer garments and remained in her undergarments.
She went on to say Epstein was naked and face down on the table, but turned over, and he and Roberts then had intercourse.
“I was sitting on the couch right in front of them,” said Carolyn while crying.
Both girls were paid in $100-bills, which were left for them on the sink.
Carolyn said the massages continued from ages 14 through 18—two or three times per week.
She testified Maxwell setup the massage appointments with her for the first year or two. She continued because “I was young and $300 was a lot of money to me.”
Carolyn admitted much of the money she made from massages went to marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol.
In keeping with the five stages of grooming—described by Dr. Lisa Rocchio, an expert witness who testified the previous week—Maxwell spoke of sexual topics and Epstein purchased lingerie for her from Victoria’s Secret.
Carolyn accused Maxwell of touching her all over.
She stated she wore her undergarments during the massages in the beginning, but eventually she was fully nude.
Carolyn claims Maxwell saw her fully nude, along with two other 14-year-old girls. She also claims another employee, Sarah Kellen, paid her $500 or $600 to pose for nude photographs.
During the massages, said Carolyn, Epstein would pleasure himself and touched her breasts and buttocks “every time.”
“Sexual activity happened every, single time,” she said.
Eventually, a female adult joined the so-called massages and various sex acts were performed by all three. One such massage ended with Epstein having intercourse with Carolyn.
She said the massages ended for her when she was 18, “because I was too old.”
Carolyn spoke about the several medications she currently takes, including one for schizophrenia. She spoke about her arrests, and working as an escort (where she was paid for sex), and a stripper.
She disclosed that her lawsuits against Maxwell and Epstein netted her about $250,000, and her payment from the Epstein Victim’s Compensation Fund between $1 million and $3 million.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca referred to an interview Carolyn gave to the FBI in 2007, and the two lawsuits against Maxwell and Epstein in 2008.
He found inconsistencies in dates and current testimony that was omitted from the prior depositions.
“Some of the things I didn’t mention because I was embarrassed,” said Carolyn.
Pagliuca read back testimony where it was Roberts who secured Carolyn’s position giving Epstein massages.
He also reminded Carolyn that other than one, short description of her, Maxwell did not appear in all three depositions.
Carolyn’s rebuttal was that Maxwell “was not the subject of the discussion.”
She appeared very uncomfortable and, at one point, stated, “I’m very confused right now.” Occasionally she wiped a tear.
Pagliuca hypothesized the cash left on the sink after the first massage could have been put there by anyone.
Prosecutor Maurene Comey could see her witness falling apart and, under redirect, asked, “Can you tell us what year it was when you were 13? Fourteen?”
“I can’t tell right now,” said Carolyn, as she broke down and cried.
Comey asked if anyone told her what to say today and she said “no.”
“Both of you need to behave,” said Nathan, referring to Comey and Pagliuca.
“What have you been told by the government to do here today?” Comey asked Carolyn.
“Just tell the truth,” she said.
The trial will resume on Dec. 16.