British heiress Ghislaine Maxwell will stand trial Monday on charges she procured girls for Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex ring—more than a year after her arrest at a luxury hideout in New Hampshire, and two years after the financier killed himself in a Manhattan jail.
The 59-year-old socialite is the only member of Epstein’s inner circle thus far to face a criminal indictment in the wake of his death despite allegations from victims who say she wasn’t alone in facilitating his rampant sexual abuse. She faces eight total counts including sex trafficking of children and sex-trafficking conspiracy. Two perjury charges will be tried separately. If convicted, she could get a maximum sentence of 80 years behind bars.
Prosecutors say Maxwell groomed at least four teen girls for Epstein in the 1990s and early 2000s, encouraging victims to provide paid sexualized massages to the wealthy predator in New York, New Mexico, Florida, and England. She also allegedly pushed victims to recruit other girls for the sex-trafficking scheme. Maxwell has adamantly denied any wrongdoing. Her lawyers contend that the feds never charged her until their high-profile defendant was dead and, grappling with intensifying public scrutiny, made her into a “substitute” for Epstein.
Maxwell’s trial will feature four accusers who say she helped groom them to be abused by Epstein when they were still teenagers. The prosecution is planning to call at least one employee of Epstein’s to the witness box—but sources have confirmed that several high-profile victims won't give testimony.
Maxwell’s defense is expected to hinge on undermining the credibility of her accusers, arguing they had a motive to lie, in particular to obtain millions from the victim’s compensation fund. Court filings also signal her lawyers will attempt to poke holes in victims’ recollection of events; they’ve enlisted Elizabeth Loftus, a renowned “false memory” expert who’s testified for the likes of murderous real-estate heir Robert Durst and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, as a defense witness.
In the meantime, The Daily Beast has compiled a list of critical people in Epstein and Maxwell’s orbit who could appear at trial—as well as those who are unlikely to show their faces on the stand.
Here’s Who Could Testify Against Ghislaine Maxwell
The victims will testify against Maxwell during the course of the six-week trial, and all but one will speak in court using pseudonyms to protect their privacy. According to prosecutors, Maxwell recruited and groomed Minor Victim-1 for Epstein beginning in 1994 when the girl was 14 years old. The socialite is accused of involving the girl in “group sexualized massages” and encouraging her to travel between New York and Florida to be exploited by Epstein through 1997.
The victim’s accusations match those of a woman who filed a lawsuit against Maxwell and Epstein’s estate claiming the duo recruited her into their sex ring after meeting her at Michigan’s prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts, which runs a boarding school and summer camp. The woman also claimed Epstein introduced her to future President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Minor Victim-2, who has come forward as Annie Farmer, alleges she was 16 when Maxwell gave her a topless massage during a visit to Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996.
Minor Victim-3 claims Maxwell groomed her in London in 1994 and 1995 when she was 17. Maxwell’s lawyers argue the woman was of the age of consent in the U.K. when Epstein abused her and should not be referred to as a “minor victim” in court. As a result, Judge Alison Nathan ruled she’ll place limits on the woman’s testimony. In a letter this month, the defense indicated the accuser is expected to testify about a sex act that highlights Epstein’s sexual preference for underage girls and Maxwell’s knowledge of this predilection. “While some may find this morally reprehensible, or even repugnant,” Maxwell’s legal team wrote, “it is perfectly legal and does not in any way establish a ‘sexual preference’ for underage girls.”
For her part, Minor Victim-4 says she was 14 when Maxwell paid her to give sexualized massages to Epstein in Florida in 2001. The woman alleges she was abused by Epstein through 2004, and that Maxwell encouraged it by discussing sexual topics with her and being present when the girl was nude in Epstein’s massage room.
Jurors will hear about two other alleged victims of Epstein and Maxwell but, according to the prosecution, those women won’t take the stand. “In the course of their testimony—and the corroborating testimony of other trial witnesses—the jury will learn that two other minors (Minor Victim-5 and Minor Victim-6) were also victims of the conspiracies charged in the Indictment,” assistant U.S. Attorneys said in a filing last month. “Specifically, Minor Victim-4 will testify that she was recruited by Minor Victim-5, and that she in turn recruited Minor Victim-6.”
Court filings reveal that an alleged co-conspirator referred to as Employee-1 will tell jurors that in 2005, Epstein’s staff continued to enable his sex crimes and that she made phone calls to schedule his underage “massage” appointments.
The unnamed employee appears to be Adriana Ross, a 38-year-old former model from Poland who was among four women to receive immunity as part of Epstein’s controversial 2008 plea agreement in Florida, where he received a slap on the wrist for molesting scores of girls. According to prosecutors, Employee-1 will testify that in October 2005, Epstein and her superior, another co-conspirator identified as Employee-2, instructed her to help remove computers from the money manager’s Palm Beach mansion.
In a 2010 deposition, former butler Janusz Banasiak said Ross and a male associate hauled computers out of Epstein’s lair weeks prior to Palm Beach cops executing a search warrant. Ross, whose deposition was taken a month after Banasiak’s, invoked her Fifth Amendment rights when answering questions posed by victims’ lawyers. Those queries included: “Isn’t it true that Ghislaine Maxwell delivers underage minor females to Jeffrey Epstein?” and “How much additional money or bonus were you paid to take the computers that we’re talking about out of Jeffrey Epstein’s house?”
Attorneys also asked Ross if Maxwell discussed retaliating against girls who went to the police, and whether Maxwell and Epstein had ever threatened her. One lawyer asked whether Maxwell told Ross: “Don’t worry. If we get caught we have it covered and we’ll just attack these little girls.” The ex-model replied, “I refuse to answer.”
Since coming to America in 2002 on a visa sponsored by a modeling agency, Ross has used the surnames Mucinska and Salazar. (In a recent court filing, Maxwell’s lawyers failed to redact a line that touches on a “Ms. Salazar.”) Prosecutors say Employee-1 may also testify about her “observations of the close relationship” between Epstein and Maxwell, court records show. The government says Epstein “reassured” the employee that she wasn’t the only staffer aiding his sex ring and told her “about the history of the conspiracy.” Epstein also allegedly claimed that Maxwell “was someone who had participated in the scheme and accordingly could be trusted.”
Epstein’s Household Staff
It’s unclear if the government is planning to call any of Epstein’s household staff to testify. But longtime employees with knowledge of Maxwell’s ties to Epstein include Juan Alessi, who once said he worked for Epstein full-time from 1999 to 2002. In a 2009 deposition, Alessi said he reported directly to Maxwell and drove her to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, where he saw the socialite approach an alleged victim. Alessi said he was also tasked with rinsing off dildos in the house and stashing them in a laundry basket in Maxwell’s closet.
Alessi’s story, however, has varied over the years. In 2009, the 71-year-old said he didn’t realize Epstein’s masseuses were underage. “No, because I never saw younger, young, young girls. And mostly that I was told they were massage therapists,” said Alessi. When asked, “Told by who?” Alessi answered, “By Ms. Maxwell or Mr. Epstein.”
But four years earlier, Alessi told Palm Beach police that he did actually suspect Epstein’s female visitors could be minors. “Alessi stated that towards the end of his employment, the masseuses were younger and younger,” a probable cause affidavit alleges. “When asked how young, Mr. Alessi stated they appeared to be sixteen or seventeen years of age at the most.”
In 2016, Alessi testified that Maxwell would snap topless photographs of European girls by the pool of Epstein’s residence.
Another former butler, Alfredo Rodriguez, who died in 2015, was also well-acquainted with Maxwell. He testified that he referred to her as “the lady of the house” and took instructions from her. Rodriguez also said that he supervised a housekeeper named Louella Rabuyo, who allegedly told him she “despised” having to clean the sex toys found in Epstein’s massage room and was upset by Epstein’s decor: nude photographs of girls beside pictures of the pope. Rabuyo, according to her own deposition, claimed Maxwell hired her to be a maid for Epstein in November 2004.
Epstein also had a longtime New York butler named Jojo Fontanilla, whose wife Lynn worked for the financier, too, and shared Facebook photos of famous visitors to the financier’s home. Lynn, who died in 2016 and also went by “Rosalyn,” is pictured beside former President Bill Clinton and Britain’s Prince Andrew, whom alleged victim Virginia Giuffre has accused of participating in the sexual abuse. Lynn also shared images of Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson.
In his book Relentless Pursuit, victims’ lawyer Brad Edwards describes how Giuffre was hopeful Fontanilla would “cooperate with her against Epstein” in her push to see him prosecuted around 2014. “She told me of a time before her eighteenth birthday when she was in Epstein’s New York house in extraordinary pain,” Edwards wrote. “Jojo drove her, with Epstein and Maxwell, to a nearby hospital, where a medical team attended to her immediately. Jojo had been there for her then and always would be.” But, according to Edwards, Jojo declined to see Giuffre when she showed up at Epstein’s home years later.
Maxwell was also placed at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch by at least one employee. Deidre Stratton claimed in a podcast that she was required to keep a “stable” of on-call massage therapists. Stratton, who worked for Epstein from 1997 to 2003, said Maxwell brought in her own masseuses, too. “Ghislaine would get immediately to the black book and try to bring girls from California in who were free to come play at the ranch,” Stratton said, adding that Maxwell allegedly took nude photos of girls in a bathtub.
Palm Beach Police
Prosecutors will likely call at least two Palm Beach police officers to the stand, to introduce evidence including phone message pads, which were obtained from Epstein’s Florida residence during the execution of a search warrant.
When cops investigated Epstein in 2005, they quickly identified Robson as a teenage recruiter who brought several girls to the pedophile in exchange for cash. According to a 2006 police report, Epstein gave Robson the following instructions while finding young victims: “The younger the better.” Last fall, Robson said she’s delighted Maxwell is behind bars. “I do feel that I’m happier that she’s been arrested, more so than Jeffrey being dead,” Robson, now 35, told Dr. Oz, adding that “it’s just unusual to see a woman portray this position, especially when it comes to kids.”
A former assistant to Maxwell in New York, the 36-year-old was listed in public records as an officer of the socialite’s company, Ellmax, and her charity, the Max Foundation. Burns also worked for Maxwell’s oceans charity, the TerraMar Project. Epstein’s butler, Banasiak, previously testified that Burns also worked briefly for Epstein’s Florida Science Foundation. She’s also connected to a Manhattan building where Epstein was known to house models, including Ross.
According to Epstein’s former pilot, Larry Visoski, Burns was known as a passenger on his private jet.
In August 2019, prosecutors were reportedly hoping to speak to Tayler about Epstein’s sex ring. Now about 46 years old, the British actress was a frequent flyer on the financier’s plane and also visited his private island. Johanna Sjoberg, an accuser who says Prince Andrew once groped her, said in a deposition that Maxwell recruited her into Epstein’s sick world in 2001. She testified that Maxwell called Tayler “her slave” and that it was Tayler who instructed her on how to massage Epstein. “She took me up to Jeffrey’s bathroom and he was present,” Sjoberg said. “And her and I both massaged Jeffrey.” Last year, British tabloid The Sun reported Tayler fled the U.K. after Maxwell’s arrest.
Who Likely Won’t Testify Against Ghislaine Maxwell
Three of Maxwell’s Alleged Co-Conspirators
The feds say they might mention three of Maxwell’s alleged co-conspirators at trial, including Epstein and a person identified as Employee-2. But none of these three co-conspirators is available to testify, Maxwell’s lawyers said. “Jeffrey Epstein is dead,” they argued in recent pleadings, “and neither [of the other co-conspirators] have been granted immunity for their trial testimony.”
The likeliest candidates are three former assistants of Epstein’s—Sarah Kellen, Lesley Groff, and Nadia Marcinkova, who were listed as uncharged co-conspirators in Epstein’s sweetheart deal.
Both Marcinkova and Kellen have come forward to say that they, too, were victims of the sex offender. to
Kellen and Ross (Employee-1) were both routine schedulers of Epstein’s massage sessions, Banasiak said.
“I get a phone call from Sarah or Adriana and they mention name [sic] that such a girl show up at the house and I should give them money,” Banasiak testified, as part of a victim’s lawsuit.
Prosecutors have said Employee-2 is mentioned in Maxwell’s superseding indictment as a staffer who would hand “victims hundreds of dollars in cash” moments after Epstein abused them around 2001. “When a victim initially arrived at the Palm Beach Residence, she would be greeted by an employee of Epstein’s, including, at times, Maxwell,” the indictment alleges. “The victim would then be escorted to a room with a massage table.”
In a 2006 affidavit, Palm Beach police alleged Kellen often called victims to schedule massages for Epstein whenever he visited town. When the girls arrived at the Florida home, Kellen would allegedly meet them in the kitchen before escorting them to an upstairs room and laying out massage oils. At the time, cops were prepared to charge Kellen in connection to Epstein’s sex crimes.
Two years later, a Florida victim filed a lawsuit claiming Kellen was Epstein’s “lieutenant” who functioned “as both his scheduler and a recruiter/procurer.” Kellen made “transportation arrangements for many of the girls, as they were often too young to drive themselves to and from the mansion,” the now-settled complaint states.
A spokeswoman for Groff, 55, told The Daily Beast that she has not been subpoenaed to testify in the coming weeks but “has been cooperative with prosecutors.”
At least two accusers named Groff in lawsuits against Epstein’s estate. Jennifer Araoz claims she was 14 when Epstein began abusing and raping her in New York, and that Groff was the chief scheduler of these “massage” sessions. An anonymous Russian woman also filed a complaint alleging Groff helped Epstein traffic her from 2017 until his arrest in 2019. (Groff has denied any wrongdoing.)
It’s unclear whether the jury will hear from other Epstein assistants. Representatives for Kellen and Marcinkova did not return messages.
As Maxwell and Epstein’s most public accuser, Giuffre has long claimed they coerced her into sex with powerful men including Prince Andrew, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and billionaire Glenn Dubin. But Giuffre won't be called to the witness stand, and none of the charges in the Maxwell indictment are connected to her.
In 2015, Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation after the heiress called her accusations “obvious lies.” The case was settled in 2017 and its previously sealed court filings became public record two years later, thanks to a legal battle from the Miami Herald. Last October, Maxwell’s secret deposition, where she answered questions under oath about alleged victims and her role in Epstein’s life, was widely publicized.
The older sister of Annie Farmer, Maria was an art student in New York when she met Epstein and Maxwell in 1995. She says the couple sexually assaulted her while she was staying at Limited Brands mogul Les Wexner’s Ohio estate. “Maxwell and Epstein worked in concert to make sure that my career and my life was ruined,” Farmer said in an affidavit, adding that she was “terrified” of the couple.
Farmersaid Epstein hired her to man the door and keep records at his Upper East Side mansion, where she witnessed the arrival of girls in school uniforms. “When I asked Maxwell why these young girls were coming over to the house so often, she said that the girls were interviewing for modeling positions,” Farmer said. She added that “it did not seem credible to me that these young girls were interviewing for modeling positions.”
The 83-year-old Harvard Law professor, a longtime friend and attorney for Epstein, has battled accusations of sexual abuse from Giuffre and Sarah Ransome. Dershowitz adamantly denies engaging in sex acts with both women. He’s also currently embroiled in litigation with Giuffre, who sued him for defamation in 2019. (He countersued her, alleging her false claims damaged his health.) Soon after Maxwell’s arrest, Dershowitz mounted a public defense of the socialite, claiming, “We never saw her do anything inappropriate. We knew her only as Jeffrey Epstein’s thirty-something girlfriend.”
Ghislaine’s High-Society Pals
Maxwell flew on Epstein’s “Lolita Express” with a host of famous guests, including Britain’s Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton and his aide, Doug Band. Flight records show Maxwell also took trips with billionaire Glenn Dubin and his wife, Eva Andersson-Dubin, a former Miss Sweden who dated Epstein in the 1980s.
The financier kept several pilots on his payroll—including Larry Visoski, Larry Morrison, Bill Hammond, and David Rodgers—but none have spoken publicly about Epstein and Maxwell. After Epstein’s 2019 arrest, some of the pilots reportedly refused to cooperate with law enforcement. In a 2009 deposition, Visoski was evasive when quizzed by victims’ lawyers about flights with Maxwell, Epstein, Kellen and their friends. Rodgers, according to reports, has cooperated with the FBI and other agencies.
Epstein’s Lawyers and Accountants
The name of Darren Indyke, Epstein’s personal attorney since the 1990s, is found on records for Maxwell’s Max Foundation and the company that owned her Manhattan townhouse. When Florida state prosecutors probed Epstein in 2007, the financier’s buddies, including Indyke, submitted glowing letters supporting him. Indyke claimed he and his wife were struggling to have a child and Epstein had enlisted Maxwell to help them apply for an overseas adoption. One of Epstein’s accountants, Richard Kahn, might also have crossed paths with Maxwell. Before one victim settled a lawsuit with Epstein’s estate, her lawyers wanted to question Kahn about “what extent he knew about Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell’s criminal enterprise.”
Glenn and Eva Dubin
In 2005, a former butler for the Dubins met a distraught 15-year-old girl from Sweden in the kitchen of the Manhattan power couple’s home. According to a 2016 deposition, Rinaldo Rizzo said the girl told him she was hired as Epstein’s personal assistant and taken to his private isle in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she was pressured to have sex. The girl also said Kellen and Maxwell were there and had snatched her passport and phone. Their disturbing conversation was cut short when Eva Dubin appeared. “Eva comes in and tells her that she will be working for Eva in the city,” Rizzo testified. “As a nanny.”
Maxwell’s secret husband, who is 14 years her junior, all but disappeared from public life after her July 2020 arrest. Months later, he wrote a heartfelt letter supporting her renewed request for bail. “The person described in the criminal charges is not the [Ghislaine] we know,” Borgerson wrote. “I have never witnessed anything close to inappropriate with Ghislaine; quite to the contrary, the Ghislaine I know is a wonderful and loving person.”
While Borgerson’s colleagues are watching to see whether he supports Maxwell at trial, a recent Daily Mail report suggests he may have moved on.
Maxwell and Borgerson became an item in 2014 and secretly wed two years later, her lawyers claim. That’s when the socialite left New York for a quieter life as an environmental activist and suburban stepmom in Massachusetts.
One acquaintance recently told The Daily Beast that Maxwell gave Borgerson admission to rarefied circles and he, in return, was her arm candy: fit, 6-foot-5, and ex-military. “He wanted access to power and so did she,” the person said.