Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused girl for decade, witness tells jury

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A prosecution witness at the trial of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell has said Epstein raped and choked her for more than a decade in the New York Yankees owner’s apartment.

A court transcript, seen by the Guardian, shows Jane, the first of two unidentified women, testified at a 2013 federal trial. Both women are testifying against Epstein as part of a civil suit.

Jane said Epstein began assaulting her when she was a minor at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, and continued until she was around 25.

The court on Monday approved the admission of Jane’s testimony, which Assistant US attorney Allan Jonas told jurors might come in the form of a sidebar discussion, with jurors not being made aware of her identity.

The witness described in court how she spent several years being sexually abused by Epstein. The transcript is redacted to protect her identity. She alleges she was assaulted by Epstein on multiple occasions, sometimes more than once a day.

“At one point Mr Epstein choked me until I lost consciousness and raped me,” Jane said in testimony, part of which was provided by prosecutors.

The witness said she was abused by Epstein and Maxwell “in the apartment, at the New York Yankees offices, at our homes and other places”, the transcript shows.

Epstein’s lawyer denies the allegations. At trial, Epstein’s lawyer said the accusations were “completely false” and the claims about other women were the product of “sexually sophisticated” young women.

Manhattan federal court heard about Jane’s abuse as part of an effort to win an enhanced sentence for the tennis champion, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting prostitution.

In exchange for pleading guilty, Epstein, a major Democratic fundraiser, served a 22-month sentence at a federal prison camp in Otisville, New York. He was released in February 2009, after serving nearly five years in the sentence.

The government now is pursuing a civil case to collect $50m in restitution from Epstein and also faces a civil action filed in the same trial seeking to get Maxwell jailed for up to 25 years.

Maxwell has denied any involvement in Epstein’s crimes.

Epstein, 63, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual abuse. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Jane testified that Epstein initially abused her when she was between 13 and 15. Epstein is accused of sexually abusing her on two occasions at his mansion, including when she was 14.

According to the transcript, Jane said on one occasion she was bound by metal handcuffs. Epstein then allegedly raped her.

“Do you remember this choking,” prosecutor Allan Jonas asked Jane.

“Yes,” she replied.

“I remember screaming,” Jane continued. “I remember biting my lips. I remember tears were running down my face.”

Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, has previously denied the allegations by the two women, both of whom will be called by Epstein’s lawyers during the civil case.

Epstein pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting prostitution from several young women, including one who prosecutors said was under age 13 at the time. The Associated Press reported he got three years’ probation in the plea.

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