March 31, 2022 Comments Off on Journal of Trauma & Dissociation – The science and politics of false memories
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation – The science and politics of false memories
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Volume 23, Issue 2 (2022)
The science and politics of false memories
False Memories And The Science Of Credibility: Who Gets To Be Heard?: Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
The guest editors are Michael Salter and Ruth Blizard.
False memories and the science of credibility: Who gets to be heard?
Michael Salter and Ruth Blizard
“Consistently, and persistently, theories of false memories have been aptly available for the exculpation of the wealthy and the powerful. This point is illustrated by a brief overview of some of the cases where prominent false memory researcher Professor Elizabeth Loftus has appeared: in the defense of a Bosnian-Croatian soldier for aiding and abetting the rape of a Muslim woman, to exculpate a senior aide to then-Vice President Dick Cheney for misleading investigators regarding the leak of the name of a CIA operative, to question the credibility of Professor Christine Blasey-Ford when she complained about an alleged sexual assault as a teenager by current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, for the defense team of the convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein and for accused child trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
Most recently, in Australia, allegations of false memories were revived when it emerged that a woman known only as “Kate” (who, sadly, died by suicide in 2019) claimed to have been sexually assaulted by the Australian politician Christian Porter (and, at the time of the allegation, Attorney General) when they were both teenagers (MItchell et al., 2021). Porter, like Kavanaugh, vigorously denied the allegation. There was no court case but instead a journalist speculated that Kate suffered from “recovered memories,” on the basis that she had apparently read Bessel van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score prior to her allegations becoming public knowledge (Hardaker, 2021). By this logic, merely reading a book that mentions child sexual abuse could be the trigger for a false allegation; never mind that Kate diarized the alleged assault while still a teenager, or that she had described the incident to friends decades prior to reading van der Kolk.
In a sign of how much has changed since the 1990s, the response to this argument was not agreement but outrage. This outrage was evident across social media but also from within journalism itself. The media outlet who ran the original piece quickly assigned another journalist to cover the story from a more sympathetic angle, while Australian media outlets ran multiple pieces rebutting the false memory proposition. One journalist wrote about his own diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder and its impact on his capacity to recall traumatic events and correctly label them as harmful (Morton, 2021).
Undoubtedly, the emergence of the false memory movement three decades ago had a negative effect on professional and social understandings of trauma and dissociation. However, it also provoked researchers, practitioners, survivors, and advocates to redouble their efforts to develop the evidence base for trauma therapy. Reinders and Veltman’s recent editorial in the British Journal of Psychiatry laid out the cumulative neurobiological evidence for the trauma model of DID. The diagnosis that the FMSF insisted, a quarter century ago, was a passing fad with no scientific foundation is now out of the shadows (Reinders & Veltman, 2021). Meanwhile, the forms of betrayal, abuse, and violation that false memory syndrome sought to explain away as mere confabulations are now recurrent features of media and policy commentary. Multiple criminal cases and public inquiries have substantiated the seriousness of child sexual abuse and exploitation, institutional tendencies toward denial and cover-up, and the inadequacies of the current policy response.”
The Power of False Memory Rhetoric
Hyping Hypnosis: The Myth that Made Capturing the Friedmans Persuasive
The Policy Alignment of the British False Memory Society and the British Psychological Society
Ashley Conway and David Pilgrim
The history and politics of ‘false memories’: The Australian Experience
Kate McMaugh and Warwick Middleton
Attachment and Memory Stability
Paula Thomson and S. Victoria Jacque
“The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried.”
—Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence–from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
Supreme Court Turns Away Jeffrey Epstein Victim’s Petition on Dead Predator’s Infamous Non-Prosecution Agreement
February 25, 2022 Comments Off on Supreme Court Turns Away Jeffrey Epstein Victim’s Petition on Dead Predator’s Infamous Non-Prosecution Agreement
The Supreme Court of the United States on Tuesday left in place previous lower court rulings that dismissed a lawsuit from a woman who claims she was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein when she was a minor.
Courtney Wild has, for nearly a decade, sued various federal defendants over the sweetheart deal the federal government extended to the now-dead pedophile back in 2007. Authorities say Epstein died by suicide in a New York City jail in 2019.
That 2007 plea deal, crafted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, atypically included a non-prosecution agreement for any and all accused co-conspirators and was entered into without any input from the dead financier’s numerous minor victims.
At the same time, the victims were repeatedly told by U.S. government attorneys that prosecutors were obligated to confer with them if, and when, an agreement was reached. The victims trusted those assurances; their faith, of course, was misplaced.
As a result of the bargain, Epstein spent 13 months in prison but was allowed to leave most days, going to and from his office to work. He also was allowed to see and entertain female visitors — including at least one minor who was allowed to visit him 90 times.
The lack of victim participation in the deal that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to relatively minor state charges of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and solicitation in exchange for a federal case never being filed by Alexander Acosta’s office was cited by Wild as a violation of the Crime Victims Rights Act of 2004 (CVRA)….
In August 2021, Wild appealed to the nine justices of the nation’s highest court.
“The CVRA promises crime victims in federal cases a right to confer with prosecutors,” her petition to the Supreme Court said. “Yet in this case, one of the most infamous child sex traffickers in this country’s history — Jeffrey Epstein, a man with wealth, power, and political influence — was able to negotiate a secret non-prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors. The resulting tragedy was that the child victims who bravely came forward to report their sexual abuse were, as the en banc (11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals) decision below acknowledged, ‘left in the dark — and, so it seems, affirmatively misled — by government lawyers’ as to why Epstein was not being federally prosecuted for his horrific crimes.”
The Biden administration, in a brief, argued the court should not entertain Wild’s “tragic” lawsuit — in part because it said the federal government had learned some lessons over the past decade.
“The Department engaged closely with victims in both its 2019 prosecution of Epstein in New York and its recent successful prosecution of Ghislaine Maxwell,” a filing by Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued. “And the Department recently embarked on a review of its guidance to prosecutors regarding victim and witness assistance.”
In two curt lines, the nation’s high court allowed a concerned third-party to file arguments in the case while simultaneously denying the case a hearing.
“The motion of Child USA for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae is granted,” the high court wrote in their orders list dated Feb. 22, 2022. “The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.”
In other words, the third-party filing is on the record — but the high court is not hearing the case.
Italian police arrest alleged Black Axe Nigerian mafia members over trafficking Four arrests of cult-like criminal gang members made in southern Italy after Nigerian woman forced into prostitution comes forward
January 20, 2022 Comments Off on Italian police arrest alleged Black Axe Nigerian mafia members over trafficking Four arrests of cult-like criminal gang members made in southern Italy after Nigerian woman forced into prostitution comes forward
Italian police arrest alleged Black Axe Nigerian mafia members over trafficking
Four arrests of cult-like criminal gang members made in southern Italy after Nigerian woman forced into prostitution comes forward
Lorenzo Tondo in Palermo
Wed 19 Jan 2022 01.30 EST
Four alleged members of the Nigerian mafia have been arrested in southern Italy after a young sex trafficking survivor spoke out against them. The men, who were arrested in Palermo and Taranto in the early hours of Tuesday, allegedly belong to the feared Black Axe, a cult-like criminal gang that emerged in the 1970s at the University of Benin, according to police. Investigators in Palermo who led the operation said the woman, who is also Nigerian, was forced into prostitution after taking part in an occult ritual bound up with traditional spiritual beliefs, known as juju, which bond victims to their traffickers and to any debts they will incur.
“The suspects were charged with slavery, human trafficking, kidnapping and pandering [recruiting prostitutes],” the police said. The woman, whom investigators said was convinced by a Pentecostal cleric to report her captors to police, had been imprisoned, raped, blackmailed and forced into prostitution to pay a debt of about €15,000 (£12,500).
Before she left Nigeria, like many other victims of sex trafficking, the woman had been made to undergo a traditional oath-taking ceremony involving complicated and frightening rituals often using the women’s blood, hair and clothing. Those carrying out the ritual, which has been found to have a profound psychological impact on victims, make it clear that failure to pay off those debts will result in terrible things happening to the woman and her family.
The abuse of religious and cultural belief systems in Nigeria has proved a deadly and highly effective control mechanism for traffickers recruiting women destined for the sex trade in Europe. A hugely profitable and well-organised criminal industry has been operating between Italy and Nigeria for more than two decades but the UN’s International Organization for Migration says it has seen a rise in the number of potential sex-trafficking victims arriving in Italy by sea in the past few years, lured by the promise of work in the country.
January 5, 2022 Comments Off on After Amnesia and during – a memoir by Wendy Hoffman
by Wendy Hoffman
After Amnesia and during – a memoir
Copyright 2021, Wendy Hoffman
This memoir’s eight essays cover sex trafficking and political-party-rituals attended by famous figures, emotions suffered because of criminal mind control, childhood writings from the time of severe abuses; body memories; how to improve diminished self-esteem—the backbone of recovery; grief, mourning and life after amnesia ends. The essays depict how perpetrators’ oppression can turn into survivors’ resistance, and how living with truth is so very much preferable to living with imposed lies. After Amnesia is written in Hoffman’s usual literary style and is aimed at helping survivors become who they really are.
Information about Wendy Hoffman and her publications
December 21, 2021 Comments Off on Miss Sweden and Bugs Bunny add up to a bad day in court for Ghislaine Maxwell – Elizabeth Loftus
Miss Sweden and Bugs Bunny add up to a bad day in court for Ghislaine Maxwell https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/18/miss-sweden-and-bugs-bunny-add-up-to-a-bad-day-in-court-for-ghislaine-maxwell
The third witness was Professor Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist and specialist in false memory. An expert witness in perhaps as many as 300 trials, she asserted that fake facts could be implanted in people: “False memories … can be very vivid, detailed. People can be confident about them, people can be emotional about them, even though they’re false.” She told the jury “emotion is no guarantee that the memory is authentic”.
Prosecutor Lara Pomerantz noted that Loftus was being paid $600 an hour by the defence and that she’d written a book, Witness for the Defense.“You haven’t written a book called ‘Impartial Witness’, right?” said Pomerantz, whose voice is so high-pitched she sounds like a very scary bat.“No,” said Loftus, glumly.
Pomerantz moved on to Loftus’s research. She got the professor to cite the catchphrase of a figure in one of her studies– “What’s up, Doc?”. Loftus had shown that 16% of people said they’d seen Bugs Bunny at Disneyland, a false memory because the fictional rabbit is a Warner Bros character, correct? Correct, the witness had to agree. Hanging in the air was the thought that 84% didn’t see Bugs Bunny at the wrong theme park.
Next, we were on a second study, where Loftus and co had tried to implant the false memory of people having had a rectal enema. No one did so, the point being that people remember trauma clearly. False memory did not have a good day in court. No wonder Maxwell seemed distraught.
December 17, 2021 Comments Off on Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense calls ‘false memories’ expert to testify in sex abuse trial
Luc Cohen December 16, 2021
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense lawyers on Thursday called a psychologist who studies “false memories” to testify at the British socialite’s sex abuse trial, part of their effort to undermine the credibility of Maxwell’s accusers.
Elizabeth Loftus, a psychology professor at the University of California, Irvine, has previously testified in or consulted for hundreds of trials, including those of Harvey Weinstein and O.J. Simpson.
Maxwell, 59, is accused of recruiting and grooming teenagers for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. She has pleaded not guilty, and her attorneys have argued that the memories of the four accusers who testified as prosecution witnesses have become corrupted over the years….
Loftus was the third witness called to the stand by Maxwell’s defense. The prosecution rested its case last Friday, following two weeks of emotional testimony from four women who said Maxwell set them up for abuse by Epstein when the women were teenagers.
Information on Elizabeth Loftus
– A Brief History of the False Memory Research of Elizabeth Loftus
– Ethics Complaints Filed Against FMSF Board Member Elizabeth Loftus
– “Lost in a Shopping Mall” A Breach of Professional Ethics
– Quotes: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
– The Alleged Ethical Violations of Elizabeth Loftus in the Case of Jane Doe
December 10, 2021 Comments Off on Epstein’s island: What really happened there?
Epstein’s island: What really happened there? Accusers say billionaire’s private paradise of Little St James in US Virgin Islands was centre of international sex trafficking ring
Io Dodds San Francisco 12/7/2021
The guests came from across the world, and from the highest ranks of society: celebrities and scientists and members of royal families, touching down in a private jet and then boarding a helicopter to the island. Its owner liked to call it “Little St Jeff”; locals called it “paedophile island”. But what is the truth about Little St James, the 75-acre private paradise in the US Virgin Islands that billionaire sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein once called home? The island is now at the centre of a web of lawsuits and criminal investigations seeking to untangle the life of Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019 at the age of 66 in what authorities claimed was a suicide.
A criminal complaint from the attorney general of the US Virgin Islands, which is attempting to seize Little St James as government property, described it “the perfect hideaway and haven for trafficking young women and underage girls for sexual servitude, child abuse and sexual assault”. On this island, the compaint says, “Epstein and his associates could avoid detection of their illegal activity from Virgin Islands and federal law enforcement, and prevent these young women and underage girls from leaving freely and escaping the abuse.”…. It was in the Virgins that Epstein registered as a sex offender in 2010, following his first conviction for child prostitution in 2008. He also based his shell companies in a small unmarked office in a seaside strip mall on St Thomas, alongside a Sam’s Mini-mart and a salon called Happy Nails. In 1998, he bought Little St James from venture capitalist Arch Cummin via a shell company, reportedly paying just under $8 million (£6 million). The new owner quickly scoured away all the native vegetation and replaced it with 40-foot palm trees.
Starting in 2007, Epstein began a massive programme of building and remodelling that drew suspicion from local officials. His main compound nearly doubled in size, sprouting into a plush mansion with an outside terrace connecting the master bedroom and the swimming pool, along with a desalination system. Satellite photos show a sprawling network of terraces, cottages, beach houses, swimming pools, docks, utility buildings, a helipad, a tennis court, slipways, some kind of enclosed lake or lagoon, and various huts of unknown purpose, all connected by palm-lined roads where golf buggies ferried guests from place to place (a journey across the island reportedly took about five minutes)…. Who did Epstein host on his island? Of course there were always guests. Among the famous names reportedly hosted by Epstein were theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Nobel laureate Lawrence Krauss, comedian Chris Tucker, actor Kevin Spacey, Victoria’s Secret magnate Les Wexner, model Naomi Campbell, former Tony Blair aide Lord Peter Mandelson, and Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom. It has been claimed that Bill Clinton was also a guest, though he denies ever having been there. Donald Trump reportedly flew on one of Epstein’s private jets, but it is unclear if he visited the island. The magician David Copperfield is even said to have proposed to supermodel Claudia Schiffer there….
Didn’t anyone notice Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking? Certainly they did. From the start, locals on St Thomas whispered darkly about Epstein’s activities, calling his private jets “the Lolita Express”. When scuba divers swam near the island, security guards would reportedly appear to patrol the edge of the water. At one point, Epstein was ferrying about 200 workers back and forth every day to build his projects. “When he was there, it was keep to yourself and do your thing,” one of them told the Associated Press, adding that the mogul would sometimes give away old material or surplus material. Airport staff on St Thomas could see who Epstein was bringing with him on the Express. “On multiple occasions I saw Epstein exit his helicopter, stand on the tarmac in full view of my tower, and board his private jet with children – female children,” a former air traffic controller told Vanity Fair…. Another airstrip employee said: “There’d be girls that look like they could be in high school. They looked very young. They were always wearing college sweatshirts. It seemed like camouflage, that’s the best way to put it. “I could see him with my own eyes. I compared it to seeing a serial killer in broad daylight. I called it the face of evil…. it was like he was flaunting it.” Sometimes the girls would be carrying shopping bags from designer brands such as Gucci and Dior.
The Alexanders also grew suspicious. “They looked like they had stepped out of an underwear catalogue,” Cathy told the Mail. “They walked around with very few clothes on or lounged around by the pool with nothing on. It was like that most of the time. I was concerned about their ages. A few of them looked very young and I couldn’t help but wonder if their mothers knew where they were.” Miles Alexander added that he had sometimes had to refuse Epstein’s requests to smuggle in female guests by boat without logging their names and passport numbers with the government of St Thomas…. What really happened on Epstein’s island? That is the subject of multiple ongoing court cases, but the accusations are shocking. According to a lawsuit filed by Prince Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Giuffre, Little St James was the centre of a worldwide grooming scheme in which recruiters working for Epstein targeted young women who were open to abuse and manipulation, played on their hopes and fears, dazzled them with “displays of vast weath and power”, and then force them to have sex with clients while keeping them in line with threats and blackmail. Ms Giuffre says that Prince Andrew sexually abused her on Little St James when she was 17, which the prince “unequivocally denies”.
The Virgin Islands attorney general’s office makes similar claims, saying: “Between 2001 and 2019 the Epstein Enterprise transported underage girls and young women to the Virgin Islands, who were then taken via helicopter or private vessel to Little St James where they were deceptively subjected to sexual servitude, forced to engage in sexual acts and coerced into commercial sexual activity and forced labour… “To accomplish his illegal ends, Epstein formed an association with multiple defendants and others (both companies and individuals, who were willing to participate in, facilitate, and conceal Epstein’s criminal activity in exchange for Epstein’s bestowal of financial and other benefits, including sexual services and forced labour from victims.”… The complaint also alleges that Little St James served as a prison for the victims, with Epstein controlling all communication with the outside world. It says one 15-year-old tried to escape by swimming, but Epstein organised a search party, recaptured her and confiscated her passport. “Remember, he owns a whole island,” said attorney general Denise George in 2020. “So it wasn’t a situation where a child or a young woman would be able to just break away and run down the street to the nearest police station.” One alleged victim told CBS News that she had been raped in Epstein’s office in St Thomas, and that he had a gun strapped to the bedpost in his bedroom on Little St James. The complaint says Epstein kept a computerised list of underage girls in or near the Virgin Islands who could be brought to the island….
Jeffrey Epstein survivor Sarah Ransome details being groomed by Ghislaine Maxwell: ‘Once you’re there, you can’t get out’
December 8, 2021 Comments Off on Jeffrey Epstein survivor Sarah Ransome details being groomed by Ghislaine Maxwell: ‘Once you’re there, you can’t get out’
Yahoo Life Pop Culture BRITTANY JONES-COOPER December 7, 2021
All eyes are glued to the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the accused co-conspirator of Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly recruited the young and underage girls that he sexually abused. For Sarah Ransome, who counts herself as a survivor of Epstein’s abuse, Maxwell’s trial is long overdue. “I’m following the trial every single day,” she tells Yahoo Life. “I just pray every day that she’s found guilty because she needs to be taken off the streets so she can’t hurt anybody else.”
In her new book, Silenced No More, Ransome recounts how her tumultuous upbringing in South Africa led her straight into the dangerous web of Jeffrey Epstein. Ransome’s parents divorced when she was a child, leaving her to be raised primarily by her mother, who struggled with alcoholism.
At the age of 11, Ransome was raped by one of her mother’s boyfriends and stayed silent about the attack. At 14, she experienced a second rape at the hands of a 17-year-old boy, whose wealthy parents paid local police to make the case disappear. Both attacks left Ransome feeling vulnerable, bullied and blamed. “I came from a broken home,” says Ransome. “I needed people to really understand my family upbringing, which effectively, almost groomed me to be a target for predators like Ghislaine and Jeffrey.”
In 2004, Ransome attended university but struggled to balance her classes, work and past traumas. With no family financial support, she scraped by with a waitressing job, but she soon discovered that she could make more money working as an escort. Today, she takes full accountability for her choices but remains resolute that her past life in no way warrants the abuse she would eventually suffer at the hands of Epstein.
“I was a survival sex worker because I couldn’t even afford a cup of hot soup. I couldn’t even afford a meal. I had to make a really hard choice. And the reason why it was important to be honest and open is because that does not excuse being raped and trafficked,” says Ransome.
Two years later, Ransome packed her bags and moved to New York City in search of a fresh start and a new life. Low on money and staying with a friend, she started applying for modeling jobs and networked with other models who helped her to book gigs. A few weeks into her new life, she met a woman named Natalya at a nightclub, and the two bonded on the dance floor. Natalya plied Ransome with compliments and cocaine while asking her personal questions about her upbringing and career ambitions. A few days later, Natayla called Ransome and revealed that she knew a man who could help her pay the tuition she needed for fashion school.
His name was Jeffrey Epstein. “I was approached by a girl my age, who very quickly and deliberately found out where I was from my family, what I was doing in New York, my dreams, my aspirations, the fact that I just come from an abused relationship,” says Ransome. “I didn’t know a single soul. I didn’t know anybody. So I just wanted a female friend to go for coffee with, or go for lunch or go for a stroll through Central Park.”
Instead, Natalya invited Ransome to the movie theater, where she was met by 10 young women about her age and Epstein. “When I met Jeffrey, he was charming,” she recalls. A few weeks later she was invited on a girls’ trip to his private island, and her personal nightmare began. “As soon as I arrived on my very first trip on the island, my cellphone’s taken away, my camera’s taken away, my passport’s taken away, and lo and behold, that’s where it started. It was that very first trip on the island where I was told, ‘You will never escape me,'” says Ransome. As Ransome recounts in the book, Epstein raped her on the second day of that trip. The attacks continued for the duration of her stay, sometimes up to two or three times in the same day.
“Jeffrey’s island was designed for rape and trafficking,” said Ransome. “And once you’re there, you can’t get out.” For Maxwell’s part, Ransome says that she was aware of the abuse. In one case, she says, Maxwell forced Ransome into a room where Epstein raped her. In another, Maxwell saw Ransome crying after a brutal attack and smirked but offered no support. “Ghislaine would break you down to such a point, but as soon as she broke you — like a Jekyll and Hyde — she would almost be motherlike and maternal, and caring. And that was effectively done to build a trauma bond,” says Ransome.
Even with the abuse, it would take months for Ransome to free herself from Epstein’s world. With no money and no family, she agreed to stay in an apartment that Epstein offered her. The sexual attacks continued, as did the emotional and verbal abuse. Ransome says Epstein threatened to kill her family if she told authorities or tried to run. Financially, he kept her compliant by promising to help her pay for college and help her to attain a visa. He never kept his promises, though, and in May 2007, after months of abuse and manipulation, Ransome fled to London to reconcile with her mother. She was free, but she would spend the following years looking over her shoulder, fearful that Epstein would track her down….
“Don’t be silenced, stand in your truth, be brave, and you’re not alone. I’m with you in spirit and you’re in my prayers, but never be silenced and never live in fear,” says Ransome.
Accuser testifies Jeffrey Epstein brought her to meet Donald Trump when she was 14; no wrongdoing alleged
December 2, 2021 Comments Off on Accuser testifies Jeffrey Epstein brought her to meet Donald Trump when she was 14; no wrongdoing alleged
Accuser testifies Jeffrey Epstein brought her to meet Donald Trump when she was 14; no wrongdoing alleged
By Lauren del Valle and Eric Levenson, CNN December 1, 2021
A woman who said she was sexually abused by Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein more than two decades ago testified in court Wednesday that she met Donald Trump when Epstein took her to Mar-a-Lago when she was 14 years old.
The woman, identified in court under the pseudonym “Jane,” also testified that she flew on Epstein’s private plane several times along with Prince Andrew, celebrity chef Adam Perry Lang and Epstein’s mother and brother.
She did not accuse the former President or any of the other plane passengers of wrongdoing. She also testified Epstein never asked her to recruit other girls or asked her to be involved in sex acts with anyone else. CNN has reached out to Trump for comment.
Her testimony came during Maxwell’s criminal trial on six federal charges, including sex trafficking of minors, in what prosecutors say was a scheme to lure and recruit underage girls for Epstein’s sexual purposes. The trial has already illuminated some of Epstein’s connections to high-profile figures like Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew…. In 2002, Trump told New York Magazine, “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” adding that Epstein had a reputation for young women….
In opening statements Monday, prosecutors said Maxwell and Epstein created a “pyramid scheme of abuse” to lure underage girls into sexual relationships with Epstein. Her defense, meanwhile, said she was a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s actions and attacked the memories and motivations of the women who say they were sexually abused.
Epstein’s private pilot was the prosecution’s first witness in the trial and testified that Maxwell was Epstein’s “go-to person” for non-business related issues. The pilot, Larry Visoski, name-dropped a series of powerful men who flew aboard the plane. Visoski also testified he never saw any sexual activity on board….
Woman testifies Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein started sexually abusing her when she was 14
Then the abuse began, she said. She described incidents of sexual abuse with Epstein that Maxwell would at times join in on, both in Palm Beach and Manhattan when she was 14, 15 and 16 years old. She testified that Epstein would masturbate on her and molest her, and Maxwell would sometimes be involved, touching her and Epstein. At least once, Maxwell “instructed” her how Epstein liked to be massaged while the three were in Epstein’s “massage room,” she testified.
In cross-examination on Wednesday, Jane named several women she recalled being involved in the group sexualized massages she categorized as “orgies.” She said she could likely recognize them if shown photos, but acknowledged that no law enforcement ever reviewed any photos with her to identify….