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Prosecutors in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial drags in one of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s green massage tables to show jurors, as the first week of proceedings wraps up in New York.

Prosecutors in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial drags in one of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s green massage tables to show jurors, as the first week of proceedings wraps up in New York.

Ghislaine
Prosecutors in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial drags in one of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s green massage tables to show jurors, as the first week of proceedings wraps up in New York.—

The socialite, 59, is accused of grooming teenage girls for abuse by the late Epstein. She’s pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which cover a period from 1994 to 2004.

The opening week of the trial heard emotional testimony from some of the alleged victims of Epstein and Ms Maxwell. But there were also claims that Ms Maxwell was being targeted because Epstein, whose death in prison was ruled to be a suicide, could no longer face trial himself.

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Ms Maxwell, who has British, American and French citizenship, has been in a US jail since her arrest last year. She faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.

In her opening statement on Monday, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz called Ms Maxwell a predator who recruited and groomed underage girls for her long-term companion Epstein to abuse.

“She preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to be sexually abused,” the prosecutor said. Ms Maxwell and Epstein were said to be “partners in crime” in the abuse.

But the defence said Ms Maxwell was being scapegoated because Epstein was no longer alive.

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“The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did, but she is not Jeffrey Epstein,” her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim argued.

On Tuesday, the trial’s first witness, Epstein’s long-time personal pilot Larry Visoski, told the court he flew VIPs to luxury locations worldwide.

Mr Visoski recalled flying Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. None of them are accused of criminal wrongdoing.

Asked to describe Ms Maxwell’s standing in Epstein’s operations, Mr Visoski described her as “the number two”.

“Epstein was the big number one,” he told the court.

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Later, jurors were shown a green massage table seized from Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion during a 2005 police raid.

Prosecutors have alleged that Epstein used massages as a “ruse” before escalating his encounters with young girls.

Michael Dawson, a detective who took part in the 2005 search, recalled how officers found a variety of sexualised images at Epstein’s home. Prosecutors also displayed a photo of a box labelled “Twin Torpedos”, which Mr Dawson said contained sex toys and was taken from an upstairs cupboard.

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