The massage table on which Jeffrey Epstein is alleged to have sexually abused underage girls was brought into a New York courtoom and unfolded in front of the jury, making Ghislaine Maxwell squirm in her seat on the fifth day of her ongoing sex trafficking trial.
In a dramatic climax to proceedings Epstein’s personal green leather massage table, seized from the master bathroom of his Palm Beach mansion, was presented as evidence, along with photographs of sex toys found in the same room.
Earlier this week, an accuser using the pseudonym Jane said that she was just 14 when she was lured to the room by Ms Maxwell and sexually assaulted by the British socialite and her paedophile boyfriend, Epstein.
The green foldable table with light brown legs and silver studs was seized in 2005 as police raided his home in connection with alleged sex offences against children. As it was unfolded on Friday evening, Ms Maxwell, just feet away, sat bolt upright, looking uncomfortable.
Gregory Parkinson, a retired police officer involved in the 2005 search testified that he carried the massage table from Epstein’s estate. A similar version of the table, made in California by Earthlite, is valued at around £350 today. It was one of two massage tables found at the property.
Palm Beach police officer Michael Dawson, who was also part of the raid, testified that he was surprised to find in the course of his search that hard drives had been removed from computers and that there were “numerous photos of nude females” at the residence.
He also confirmed that a photo showing a box of sex toys labelled “twin torpedos” had also been taken from an upstairs wardrobe.
Earlier this week, Epstein’s former housekeeper Juan Alessi said that while cleaning the room following the financier’s massages he found sex toys on multiple occasions. He told jurors he would return them to Ms Maxwell’s wardrobe and place it in a wicker basket where there were also pornographic tapes and a black leather costume.
Jane previously told jurors Epstein would touch her inappropriately with sex toys, adding: “He liked to use a vibrator of different sizes… even back massagers which are painful.”
Ms Maxwell, 59, is accused of preying on vulnerable young girls and taking them to be molested by Epstein between 1994 and 2004. She denies the six charges against her.
Earlier in the day, jurors were played a video of police searching Epstein’s Florida mansion and then walked through still photos of the property. They were told that photographs on display included Epstein with Pope John Paul and also with Fidel Castro.
Isabel Maxwell returned to court wearing a grey baseball cap, while Ghislaine could be seen leaning in and rubbing the back of her attorney Bobbi Sternheim.
Before proceedings started on Friday, defence and prosecution lawyers were locked in a fierce debate about the admissibility of photographs which show that Epstein had on display pictures of partially clothed pre-pubescent girls at the same home.
The paedophile financier can be seen pulling down the underwear of a young goddaughter in one and pretending to “bite her bottom,” in one, while another, on a wall outside his bedroom shows a young girl in just her underwear, the court heard.
Also found in Epstein’s home when it was raised in 2019, were a number of “small” schoolgirl outfits – described in court as “costumes.” They were discovered in the same room as the sex toys allegedly used during Epstein’s massages.
Defence lawyers acting for the British socialite tried to have these images struck off the evidence list, but were unsuccessful, indicating that they will be shown to the jury at some stage.
Jeffrey Pagliuca described the scene with Epstein and his goddaughter as “a playful moment.”
He said “maybe not everyone is like this with their goddaughter, but it is not illegal.”
The trial continues next week, when the second accuser is expected to take the stand.
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