Final Witness Recounts Nude Massage From Maxwell

Prosecution rests, and defense begins next week
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2021 7:31 AM CST
Ghislaine Maxwell Prosecution Rests, and Big Question Looms
This courtroom sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell, center, seated in court at defense table between two US Marshals seated in foreground, watching proceedings in her sex abuse trial in New York, Friday Dec. 10, 2021.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

(Newser) – Prosecutors rested their case against Ghislaine Maxwell on Friday much earlier than expected—it took 10 days instead of the expected four weeks, notes the BBC. Her defense team is expected to take no more than a few days after they begin their presentation next week. The big question is whether the 59-year-old Maxwell, accused of grooming underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein, will take the stand in her own defense. The New York Times digs into the pros and cons, noting that Epstein's suicide changes the calculation. “She’s trying to separate herself from Epstein,” says attorney Mark D. Richards, who recently got Kyle Rittenhouse acquitted. “At least now, you can blame it on a dead guy.” Rittenhouse testified on his own behalf in that trial.

In Friday's testimony, prosecutors presented their fourth and final witness. Unlike the first three, Annie Farmer, now 42, did not take the stand under a pseudonym, notes the AP. Farmer told the court that Maxwell once gave her a nude massage, touching her breasts, when Farmer was only 16. Prior to that, Maxwell had shown Farmer how to massage Epstein's feet, and she said Epstein once got into bed with her, saying he wanted to cuddle, and pressed his body against hers. Farmer explained that she first came into the Epstein-Maxwell orbit because her older sister worked for Epstein as a fine-arts painter, per the Guardian.

She recalled how she accepted an invitation to visit Epstein at his Manhattan mansion in 1996 and recounts how he took her and her sister to the movies and caressed her hand, foot, and leg during the movie. After that, she said she reluctantly accepted an invitation to visit his New Mexico ranch and did so only because she felt comfortable that Maxwell would be there, too. That's where Maxwell massaged her, Farmer told the court. “She told me to get undressed,” Farmer said. “She pulled the sheet down and exposed my breasts, and started rubbing on my chest and on my upper breast.” She added: “I just wanted so badly to get off the table.” (Read more Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)

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