Prosecutors call ex-boyfriend of accuser Ghislaine Maxwell to testify at trial – .

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Prosecutors call ex-boyfriend of accuser Ghislaine Maxwell to testify at trial – .


NEW YORK, December 8 (Reuters) – Prosecutors in the criminal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell called to the witness stand on Wednesday the former boyfriend of a woman who said she was a teenager when the British socialite had him indicted for sexual abuse by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The man, who identified himself as Shawn, testified that he started dating a woman named Carolyn in Florida when she was 17 and she was 14.

Carolyn, now in her mid-30s, testified on Tuesday that she had sex with Epstein at her Palm Beach, Florida mansion from the age of 14 in 2002.

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Prosecutors are expected to call the fourth woman identified in Maxwell’s indictment as early as Wednesday afternoon to begin testifying.

They said they could close their case by Thursday, about two weeks faster than originally expected.

The defense would have a chance to present a case after the prosecution rests. It is not clear whether Maxwell would testify, given the prospect that she could face lengthy cross-examination by prosecutors.

Maxwell, 59, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges for his alleged role in recruiting and preparing girls for Epstein to abuse Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

His lawyers have said his accusers’ memories have been corrupted over the years and that Maxwell was the scapegoat for Epstein’s alleged conduct.

The globetrotter investor committed suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting his own sexual abuse trial.

Besides Carolyn, a woman identified as Jane also testified that she had sexual contact with Epstein from the age of 14.

Carolyn’s case underlies Maxwell’s sex trafficking charge, as she was allegedly paid for interactions with Epstein. She said the encounters started out as massages before escalating.

Maxwell is said to have treated the fourth alleged victim, named in the indictment as Minor Victim-2, for abuse by Epstein at his New Mexico ranch when she was under 18 in 1996.

According to the indictment, Maxwell took the victim shopping and see a movie, gave her an unsolicited massage while the victim was topless, and encouraged her to massage Epstein.

Prosecutors said the term massage was a “trick” designed to get girls to touch Epstein.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan on Wednesday ruled that any sexual contact between the accuser and Epstein at the time was not illegal, citing New Mexico law.

She had made a similar ruling about Kate, another alleged victim who testified against Maxwell, claiming that Kate was old enough to consent at the time of her alleged sex with Epstein.

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Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Sandra Maler and Mark Porter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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