Third Accuser Says Epstein and Maxwell Preyed on Her as a Troubled Teen

Reading this article about how Ghislaine Maxwell aided and abetted satiating Jeffrey Epstein’s voracious appetite for young girls, I found myself wondering what it was exactly that she got from this strange relationship and how it came about in the first place? 

How did she meet Epstein and get drawn into having her life’s work become about his sex drive. It reminds of the R. Kelly saga, except that he had whole team of people on his payroll, supporting his brand of  exploitation of young girls. It appears that Maxwell was a one-woman procurement operation, all by herself! But why?

Perhaps when she goes on the stand, the trial will reveal some explanation for her relationship with Epstein and how it evolved as it did. Perhaps she will go for “The Theranos Defense” of Elizabeth Holmes, claiming that she was an innocent lamb who was brainwashed by Epstein.

We’ll see. So far between the pilot, the handyman, and the girls described here, the testimony against her has been brutal.

Third Accuser Says Epstein and Maxwell Preyed on Her as a Troubled Teen

The accuser, who testified under her first name, Carolyn, described being preyed upon as an especially vulnerable child.

Prosecutors said they could rest their case in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial as early as Thursday. 
Credit…Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

The 14-year-old girl was removing her clothing in the master bathroom of Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., home, preparing to give him a massage, she said, when Ghislaine Maxwell entered the room and touched her breasts, hips and buttocks. Ms. Maxwell told the teenager she had “a great body for Mr. Epstein and his friends,” the girl — now a woman in her 30s — told a jury Tuesday in Ms. Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial.

Testifying under only her first name, Carolyn, she said she was sexually abused by Mr. Epstein more than a hundred times beginning around 2001 and in the years that followed.

In many ways, Carolyn’s testimony echoed the two accusers who testified before her: All three said they were unhappy teenagers when they were drawn into intimate conversations with Ms. Maxwell, who arranged massages with Mr. Epstein that led to sexual encounters. There were gifts, sex toys, invitations to travel.

But Carolyn was different.

Jane, the first accuser to testify, was a successful soap-opera actress who told the jury last week that she met Ms. Maxwell at a summer camp for talented youth. Kate, the second accuser, was a British model, actress and singer from a wealthy family, who said her first encounter with Ms. Maxwell was in Paris. They testified under pseudonyms, they said, to protect their careers and families.

In contrast, Carolyn was a middle school dropout who said she became addicted to drugs during Mr. Epstein’s abuse. She spent her teenage years in Palm Beach with her mother, whom she described as an alcoholic and a drug user. She was sexually abused by her grandfather starting at age 4 — an experience she said she spoke with Ms. Maxwell about. She later worked for an escort service and as a stripper.

Prosecutors say Ms. Maxwell, 59, helped to recruit and groom teenage girls for sexual abuse by Mr. Epstein, the notorious sex offender and financier who was her longtime companion. Mr. Epstein died in jail in 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial; Ms. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty and denied the accusations.

The difference between Carolyn and the accusers who testified earlier was apparent even in their voices. While Jane addressed the jury with the clear projection and composure of a trained performer, and Kate spoke with a crisp British accent, Carolyn’s voice during her testimony was halting and peppered with blunt anatomical terms.

Carolyn’s testimony provided evidence of the damage done to a particularly vulnerable girl — one to whom Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell did not apparently offer career support or the promise of a lavish lifestyle.

Carolyn’s testimony posed a new challenge for Ms. Maxwell’s legal team, which had portrayed earlier accusers as enamored of Mr. Epstein’s wealth and Ms. Maxwell’s charm, and who in some ways benefited from their patronage. But without the polish of the earlier witnesses, Carolyn presented an account of a hard life made more painful by Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell’s involvement.

At times, Carolyn appeared to grow impatient under cross-examination by one of Ms. Maxwell’s lawyers, Jeffrey Pagliuca, who pressed her to explain apparent inconsistencies in her accounts in civil lawsuits and F.B.I. interviews from more than a decade ago. She repeatedly said: “That’s not true,” or denied saying what had been written.

On her direct testimony, Carolyn admitted that she lied about her work as an escort during a 2009 deposition, and said she regularly took methadone to treat her opioid addiction and medication for her schizophrenia symptoms. Asked by a prosecutor why she had scarcely mentioned Ms. Maxwell in her decade-old accounts to law enforcement, Carolyn said: “I wasn’t asked about Maxwell.”

Ms. Maxwell is charged with the sex trafficking of Carolyn, who is identified in the indictment as “Minor Victim-4.”

Jeffrey Pagliuca, left, and Laura Menninger, lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, appeared to take a different approach to cross-examining the third accuser to testify.
Credit…Stephanie Keith for The New York Times

Carolyn’s encounters with Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell began when she was about 14 years old, she said, when a friend of her boyfriend’s asked her if she wanted to make money by giving massages to a man she knew. The friend, Virginia Roberts, got her dressed up in provocative clothing and brought her to Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach house.

Ms. Maxwell met them at the door and told them to go upstairs to Mr. Epstein’s bathroom, Carolyn said. The first time, Ms. Roberts got fully undressed, while Carolyn kept her bra and underwear on. Mr. Epstein entered the adjacent massage room, where he lay down on his stomach.

Forty-five minutes later, Mr. Epstein turned over, and he and Ms. Roberts had sex while Carolyn watched from a nearby couch, she told the jury, her voice cracking.

Afterward, Carolyn said, they were both paid in cash left at the bathroom sink, and Ms. Maxwell took her number.

Ms. Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, has become one of Mr. Epstein’s most vocal accusers. She is not believed to be one of the four accusers on which the charges against Ms. Maxwell are based, and is not expected to testify at trial.

In the years that followed, Carolyn told the jury, she went to Mr. Epstein’s house two or three times a week. The appointments were arranged by Ms. Maxwell, whom Carolyn would always see when she entered the house through the kitchen door.

Each time, Mr. Epstein would first lie on his stomach while Carolyn gave him a massage; sometimes, they spoke about her troubled upbringing, she told the jury. At the end, he would roll over and masturbate, or engage in other sex acts with Carolyn.

“Something sexual happened every single time,” Carolyn told the jury.

She was paid $300 to $400 in hundred-dollar bills after each encounter, sometimes handed directly to her by Ms. Maxwell, she said. She used the money to buy drugs, she said, and soon she became addicted to cocaine and pain pills.

She said she brought teenage friends over a few times to take part in the massages, for which she was paid extra. On two occasions, she said, Mr. Epstein summoned another naked woman into the room, and the three of them had sex.

Carolyn testified that Ms. Maxwell saw her naked in the massage room three times, including the incident in the bathroom where she touched her body.

Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein knew she was only 14 years old when the abuse started, Carolyn said, because they asked if she could travel to Mr. Epstein’s island in the Caribbean and she said she did not have a passport and that her mother would not allow her to go.

Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein sent her gifts, she said: Victoria’s Secret lingerie, concert tickets, a massage book.

During his cross-examination of Carolyn, Mr. Pagliuca at one point cited a legal filing in which she was asked whether she had ever had intercourse with Mr. Epstein. Carolyn had replied in the negative, Mr. Pagliuca said.

Before Mr. Pagliuca had finished asking his question, Carolyn interrupted. “I replied no because I was not a willing participant,” she said. “He had intercourse with me and I stopped it.”

During her direct testimony, Carolyn said she suffered from anxiety, “thinking my daughters will be trafficked or stolen from me.” Mr. Pagliuca asked whether the fear stemmed from the fact that she had previously lost custody of them because she had abused substances, a claim Carolyn angrily denied.

Several years into the abuse, Carolyn got pregnant by her then-boyfriend and had a child, she told the jury. Afterward, she went back to Mr. Epstein’s house a few times, because she needed money. “He asked me if I had any younger friends, and I said no,” she said. “And that’s when I realized I was too old.”

She was 18.

Rebecca Davis O’Brien covers law enforcement and courts in New York. She previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, where she was part of a team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting for stories about secret payoffs made on behalf of Donald Trump to two women.

Kirkus Reviews, the gold-standard for independent & accurate reviews, has this to say about

What Goes Around Comes Around:

A stable, positive, non preachy, objective voice makes the book stand apart from others in the genre. A successful guide that uses anecdotes to reveal powerful truths about life.

~ Kirkus Reviews

“The author gives readers not just points or principles to ponder, but real human experiences that demonstrate them!
Kirkus Reviews
Buy What Goes Around at Amazon

“I’ve read a number of books that focus on sharing a similar message, including “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, “The Answer” by John Assaraf & Murray Smith, “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill, and I must say that I find Rob’s to be my favorite. – Sheryl Woodhouse, founder of Livelihood Matters LLC

Third Accuser Says Epstein and Maxwell Preyed on Her as a Troubled Teen

Third Accuser Says Epstein and Maxwell Preyed on Her as a Troubled Teen

Here’s a case of “Group malfeasance, blamed on poor judgement, from the consumption of too much wine!” A nine month investigation of the American chapter of “The Court of Master Sommeliers” has revealed a widespread expectation/demand of sexual favors in return for mentoring female applicants, undergoing the rigorous exam process, required for membership and recognition as an official Sommellier. 

This follows the complaint of 21 women that their supposed mentors, had pressured them for sex, apparently a well-established condition with a long history. So far 22 men have been investigated. 

The point being, that when a lowly activity becomes “institutionalized” in a grouping of people, ie: company, sport, union, association, religion, etc, it can go on undetected for a long time. It may even acquire an almost “accepted as part of the game” kind of cover, with those participating considering it, “just one of their perks”, and no big deal! That is, until someone blows the lid off.

That’s when everything changes for those who took part. It is not after all, that they didn’t know there was something amiss about the game they were playing. They just thought they had a really good cover! Instead, that cover just went poof, as all covers eventually do. Just another example that, “What Goes Around Comes Around!” Its just difficult to predict when. 

Colombo Family Crime Boss and 12 Others Are Arrested, Prosecutors Say

An indictment unsealed on Tuesday accuses the organization of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort a labor union.

Credit…Jesse Ward


For two decades, the leadership of the Colombo crime family extorted a Queens labor union, federal prosecutors said — an effort that continued unabated even as members of the mob clan cycled through prison, the family’s notorious longtime boss died, and as federal law enforcement closed in.

Over time, what began as a Colombo captain’s shakedown of a union leader, complete with expletive-laced threats of violence, expanded into a cottage industry, prosecutors said, as the Colombo organization assumed control of contracting and union business, with side operations in phony construction certificates, marijuana trafficking and loan-sharking.

On Tuesday, 11 reputed members and associates of the Colombo crime family, including the mob clan’s entire leadership, were charged in a labor racketeering case brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

All but two of the men were arrested Tuesday morning across New York and New Jersey, prosecutors said. Another was surrendered to the authorities on Tuesday; another defendant, identified as the family consigliere, remained at large, prosecutors said.

The indictment accuses the Colombo family of orchestrating a two-decade scheme to extort an unnamed labor union that represented construction workers, using threats of violence to secure payments and arrange contracts that would benefit the crime family.

The charges are an ambitious effort by the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take down one of the city’s five Mafia families. In addition to the union extortion scheme, which is the heart of the racketeering charge, the indictment charges several misdeeds often associated with the mob, including drug trafficking, money laundering, loan-sharking and falsifying federal labor safety paperwork.

Detention hearings for the defendants in Brooklyn federal court continued into the evening Tuesday, as they entered not-guilty pleas to the charges; prosecutors had asked the court to keep 10 of the defendants in custody.

“Everything we allege in this investigation proves history does indeed repeat itself,” Michael J. Driscoll, F.B.I. assistant director-in-charge, said in a statement. “The underbelly of the crime families in New York City is alive and well.”

Around 2001, prosecutors said, Vincent Ricciardo — a reported captain in the family, also known as “Vinny Unions” — began to demand a portion of a senior labor union official’s salary. When Mr. Ricciardo was convicted and imprisoned on federal racketeering charges in the mid-2000s, prosecutors said, his cousin continued to collect those payments.

Starting in late 2019, prosecutors said, the senior leadership of the Colombo family became directly involved in the shakedown, which extended to broader efforts to siphon money from the union: for example, manipulating the selection of union health fund vendors to contract with entities connected to the family, and diverting more than $10,000 each month from the fund to the family.

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Andrew Russo, 87, who prosecutors describe as the family boss, is accused of taking part in those efforts, as well as a money-laundering scheme to send the proceeds of the union extortion through intermediaries to Colombo associates. He was among nine defendants charged with racketeering.

Mr. Russo appeared in court virtually from the hospital Tuesday; he is set to be detained upon his release, pending a future bail hearing.

The family’s infamous longtime boss, Carmine J. Persico, died in federal custody in North Carolina in March 2019.

Federal law enforcement learned of the extortion scheme about a year ago, prosecutors wrote in a court filing Tuesday; investigators gathered thousands of hours of wiretapped calls and conversations recorded by a confidential witness, wrote the prosecutors, who also described law-enforcement surveillance of meetings among the accused conspirators.

The authorities said they repeatedly captured Mr. Ricciardo and his associates threatening to kill the union official. “I’ll put him in the ground right in front of his wife and kids,” Mr. Ricciardo was recorded saying in June.

On another occasion cited by prosecutors in the memo seeking his detention, Mr. Ricciardo directed the union official to hire a consultant selected by the Colombo family, saying: “It’s my union and that’s it.” Prosecutors said his activities were overseen by a Colombo soldier and the consigliere who remains at large.

Much of the activity outlined in the indictment took place while the defendants were either in prison or on supervised release for prior federal mob-related convictions. Theodore Persico Jr., described as a family captain and soldier, was released from federal prison in 2020 and, despite a directive not to associate with members of organized crime, “directed much of the labor racketeering scheme,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Persico, 58, is set to inherit the role of boss after Mr. Russo, prosecutors wrote.

Several of the defendants were named in what prosecutors described as a fraudulent safety training scheme, in which they falsified state and federal paperwork that is required for construction workers to show they have completed safety training courses.

One of the defendants, John Ragano — whom prosecutors say is a soldier in the Bonanno crime family — is accused of setting up phony occupational safety training schools in New York, which prosecutors said were “mills” that provided fraudulent safety training certificates to hundreds of people.

In October 2020, prosecutors said, an undercover law enforcement officer visited one of the schools in Ozone Park, Queens, and received, from Mr. Ricciardo’s cousin, a blank test form and an answer sheet; weeks later, the agent returned to pick up his federal safety card and paid $500.

The purported schools were also used for meetings with members of La Cosa Nostra — the group of crime families commonly known as the Mafia — and to store illegal drugs and fireworks, according to the indictment.

Mr. Ragano wasn’t charged on the racketeering count, although prosecutors also sought his detention pending trial. In addition to the racketeering count, several defendants, including Mr. Ricciardo and his cousin, were charged with extortion, conspiracy, fraud and conspiracy to make false statements.

William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.


An earlier version of this article misstated the number of people identified in an indictment as members of the Colombo crime family. It is 11, not more than a dozen.