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Witness against Maxwell recalls wearing school girl uniform for Epstein

A British former model was the second survivor of Epstein’s sexual abuse to take the witness stand during Ghislaine Maxwell's sex trafficking trial.

MANHATTAN (CN) — One week after trial opened with a woman taken into Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking web at age 14, a 44-year-old former model from England offered her own testimony Monday about being groomed by Ghislaine Maxwell for sexual encounters with the late financier.

Identified pseudonymously as Kate, the witness recalled being at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion during the mid-1990s when Maxwell allegedly laid a schoolgirl’s outfit — “a short pleated skirt, white socks, white panties and a shirt,” Kate said — out on her bed.

“I thought it would be fun for you to take Jeffrey his tea in this outfit,” Kate recalled Maxwell telling her.

“I didn’t know how to say no to that,” her testimony Monday continued. “I didn’t know anybody in Florida. I had never been to Palm Beach or Florida before. I wasn’t sure if I said no if I would have to leave or what consequence there would be for not doing it.”

Kate said she put on the schoolgirl outfit, and a sexual encounter with Epstein followed. Afterward, she said, Maxwell adulated her for being “such a good girl” and asked if she had “had fun.”

Like the publishing heiress she is testifying against, Kate is a former U.K. socialite. She has been living in the United States for years on an O-1 entertainment visa but still speaks with an English accent.

The former actress and model told jurors that Maxwell was responsible for arranging her sexual encounters with Epstein, which included coordinating her international flights and actually guiding her into various massage rooms. She is the second survivor of Epstein’s sexual abuse to take the witness stand against Maxwell at trial, following a woman identified as Jane last week.

On Monday, Kate recalled that she first met Maxwell in 1994 in Paris and found her to be “very sophisticated and very elegant.” She testified that at the time it was her understanding Epstein was Maxwell’s boyfriend, and that Maxwell’s “job was to take care of Jeffrey’s needs.”

Sexualized massages between Kate and Epstein began when she was 17 and continued into her early 30s, she said, occurring at his London townhouse, his Palm Beach mansion, and on his private island Little Saint James.

Wearing her blond hair pulled back tight in a bun on Monday, the former model recalled Maxwell telling her that Epstein required sex three times a day and also asking if she knew anyone who could give Epstein “a blow job, because it was a lot of work for her to do.”

"You know what he likes. Cute, young, pretty — like you,” Kate recalled Maxwell telling her.

She testified that she received “a small, black Prada handbag” as her 18th birthday gift from both Ghislaine and Jeffrey.

Last week, the prosecution called a forensic psychologist who testified as an expert witness to the stages of grooming victims for underage sexual abuse, which included gift-giving or “letting the child know how special they are.”

For this witness, however, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan explained to the jury Monday that, due to her age at the time the crimes are alleged to have occurred, and the age of consent in the respective locales of the sex acts, Kate is not considered to have been a minor at the time.

 “I instruct you that this witness is not a victim of the crimes charged in the indictment,” Judge Nathan said. “To the extent you conclude that her testimony is relevant to the issues before you,” Judge Nathan told jurors, “you may consider it.”

Kate testified on direct questioning that she had addiction to alcohol, cocaine and sleeping pills during the early 2000s, but affirmed that her confidence that those years of substance abuse had not diminished her recollections of the life-changing abuse by Epstein and Maxwell.

“Memories I have of significant events in my life will never change," she told the prosecution in direct testimony, anticipating that cross-examination will bring attacks on her recollections from Maxwell’s defense.

“Fair to say, using and abusing those substances over 10 years has had an impact on your memories,” Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim predictably pressed Kate on cross-examination.

Kate responded that she is certain she was sober during those times with Maxwell and Epstein because “that was what required” by them.

“During the period of time when you around them, you weren’t snorting coke,” Sternheim asked with a tone of slight disbelief.

Sternheim also hammered Kate on what motivated her to testify against Maxwell. She noted that the witness is represented by Bradley Edwards, an attorney who received an undisclosed portion of Kate's $3.25 million from the fund that compensates Epstein victims.

Following Epstein's death in prison last year, Edwards published the book "Relentless Pursuit — Our Battle with Jeffrey Epstein." He has represented more than 50 women who say Epstein abused them.

After Kate, the jury heard later Monday afternoon from JPMorgan Chase executive Pat McHugh about financial transactions linked to Epstein, some of which show that an Epstein-controlled entity — Financial Trust Company Inc. — transferred $18.3 million to Maxwell’s account at Bear Stearns in October 1999. Another $5 million was wired to her in September 2002.

Five years later, in June 2007, $7.3 million was transferred from Epstein’s company account to "Air Ghislaine Inc." for purchase of a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter.

The trial’s first witness, Epstein’s chief pilot Larry Visoski, testified last week that he would shuttle guests in to Epstein’s private island on a helicopter from the nearest airport at St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Maxwell is a trained and licensed pilot herself. Visoski said she flew the helicopter during trips to Epstein’s island property, which included a helipad.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts in connection with allegedly recruiting teenage girls for sexual abuse by Epstein. She faces up a maximum of 70 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Monday was the sixth day of trial.

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