U.S.

Ghislaine Maxwell Brought Strict Rules to Epstein Home, Ex-Employee Says

After Ghislaine Maxwell set up a condo at Jeffrey Epstein’s Florida mansion, house rules became strict, a former employee of the Epstein home said Thursday. You don’t hear anything. Don’t look into his eyes.

In his testimony on the fourth day of Ms Maxwell’s trial related to sex trafficking, the former employee, Juan Alessi, who worked on the property from around 1990 to 2002, said he had had a “friendly” relationship with Mr Epstein. But after Mrs. Maxwell’s arrival in the early 1990s, he said, the dynamic changed.

Mr. Alessi said Mrs. Maxwell directed him on how to speak to Mr. Epstein: “Mr. Mr. Alessi remembers Mrs. Maxwell telling him that Epstein does not like to look him in the eye.” “Never look him in the eye, look in another part of the room and answer. “

The trial, which began on Monday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, is seen by many of the defendants and others as one that Epstein never witnessed, and prosecutors sought to show that Ms Maxwell, 59, played a pivotal role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls by her companion since. long time.

Mr Epstein, 66, was charged in 2019 with trafficking dozens of girls, some as young as 14, and engaging in sexual acts with them. He was arrested in 2019, and killed himself a little over a month later in a Manhattan prison cell.

Prosecutors accused Ms. Maxwell of helping Mr. Epstein recruit his victims. She faces six counts, including sex trafficking, soliciting and transporting underage girls to engage in unlawful sex, and three counts of conspiracy.

On Thursday, prosecutors called an expert witness who testified about the concept of “grooming,” a technique that predators use to lure their victims. Later in the day, Mr. Alessi took the stage and provided a rare glimpse into Epstein’s private life.

Mr. Alessi, 71, testified that he saw two girls believed to be minors in the palace, one known only as Jane, who had already testified at the trial as a government witness. He said that Mr. Epstein’s staff were subject to strict orders about how to dress and how to address Mr. Epstein, Mrs. Maxwell and their guests.

Prosecutors provided excerpts from a 58-page brochure titled “The Family Handbook” that Mr Alessi said dictated the rules at Mr Epstein’s home.

“Remember that you see nothing, hear nothing, and say nothing but the answer to a question directly to you,” says one section of the brochure. Respect their privacy.

Mr. Alessi testified that he took the instructions as “a kind of warning”.

In her testimony, Jane said she met Mr. Epstein and Mrs. Maxwell in 1994, and described Mrs. Maxwell as behaving like a “big sister” before she joined the sexual assault.

Mr. Alessi testified that he first met Jane in 1994, and recalled the first time she visited the property with her mother.

“I don’t know exactly how old she was but she looked young,” said Mr. Alessi. “I would say 14, 15.” (Earlier this week, Jane testified that she was 14 years old when she met Mr. Epstein and Mrs. Maxwell, and that her chauffeur took her to Mr. Epstein’s house, remembering him as a “nice Latin American man”. Alessi is from Ecuador.)

Mr. Alessi said Mr. Epstein or Mrs. Maxwell had ordered him to fetch Jane from her house; He said he picked her up from school once. He described her as a “remarkably beautiful” and “extremely cute” girl.

Mr. Alessi met the second girl, who appeared to be a minor, Virginia Roberts. Ms. Roberts, now known as Virginia Roberts Giuffre, is one of Epstein’s most prominent accusers. She is not believed to be one of the four victims of the charges against Ms Maxwell, and she is not expected to testify at the trial.

Mr. Alessi said he met Mrs. Joffrey at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald J. Trump’s South Florida club, on a day when Mrs. Maxwell was visiting luxury resorts in Palm Beach County. He said Mrs. Maxwell asked him to stop the car when she saw Mrs. Roberts.

By noon that day, Mrs. Alessi said, Mrs. Roberts was at the Epstein Palm Beach estate, and that she had returned frequently. When asked if he knew where the girls went or what they did while they were at Mr Epstein’s house, he said he did not.

“I shouldn’t have seen where they are,” said Mr. Alessi.

He testified that his job prompted him to see other things. One of his duties was to clean Mr. Epstein’s massage table, and Mr. Alessi recalled that by the end of his work, Mr. Epstein was receiving three massages a day. Jane said in her testimony that she was frequently asked to perform sexual massages on Mr. Epstein as part of her sexual assault.

After cleaning up for one session in 1995, Mr. Alessi said he found a large sex toy – and then saw it again “at least four or five times” while at work.

He said he did what he was told to do: put him back in a wicker basket the size of a trash can that was filled with other tools. He said the basket was in Mrs. Maxwell’s bathroom.

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