A woman who says she was just 14 when Ghislaine Maxwell began “grooming” her to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein and other powerful men was a frequent visitor to the disgraced financier’s Florida mansion, a former property manager testified Friday.
Juan Alessi said Maxwell and Epstein even dispatched him to drive the teenager from her home to the Palm Beach mansion starting in 1994.
Jane, which is the pseudonym of the first of Maxwell’s four accusers to testify at this trial, is now in her 40s and an actor by profession.
But Alessi’s credibility as a prosecution witness at Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial was shaken by his earlier admission that he stole $6,300 from Epstein. He said he turned himself in to police and that he paid the money back to Epstein.
Alessi also testified Thursday that Epstein’s mansion was often teeming with topless young women and that Maxwell was the “lady of the house” who enforced his rules.
Maxwell, a 59-year-old British socialite, is accused of helping Epstein recruit and sexually abuse four underage girls, mostly in the 1990s. She has pleaded not guilty to all six charges leveled against her.
During the five days of testimony so far, her lawyers have argued that she is being targeted unfairly because the government cannot prosecute Epstein, who hanged himself in a Manhattan jail two years ago. He was 66.
Alessi worked for Epstein in Florida from about 1990 to 2002. He told the court that he also saw Virginia Roberts Giuffre — another woman who says Maxwell and Epstein sexually abused and trafficked her — “very often” at the Palm Beach mansion and that she frequently flew with them on Epstein’s private planes.
Giuffre, who said she too was underage at the time, is not one of the four women Maxwell is charged with trafficking.
Other than Jane and Giuffre, Alessi has testified that most of the women he saw in Epstein’s mansion appeared to be in their late 20s.
“I was not asked for the age of any individuals who came to the house,” he answered on cross-examination Friday.
When Jane was on the stand earlier in the week, she testified that Epstein had hurt her with a sex toy. Alessi said Thursday those devices were stored in Maxwell’s closet and that he was aware that many of the women who came to the house were there to give Epstein massages.
Asked if any of them complained about untoward behavior or being physically hurt, Alessi said no.
“But I wish they did because I would have done something to stop it,” he said.
Alessi was followed on the stand by former Palm Beach Police Officer Gregory Parkinson, who was questioned about a video he recorded in 2005 while executing a search warrant at Epstein’s mansion.
Among other things, the video shows one photo of Epstein with Pope John Paul and another with Fidel Castro, he said.
Police also found what prosecutors described as a “sexually suggestive photograph of a very young girl” mounted on a wall outside Epstein’s bedroom in the mansion.
If found guilty, Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison. Her trial is expected to last five more weeks.