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Jeffrey Epstein’s housekeeper takes the stand in Ghislaine Maxwell trial


Jeffrey Epstein‘s housekeeper Juan Alessi has taken the stand in Day Four of Ghislaine Maxwell‘s sex trafficking trial.  

Questioned by Prosecutor Maurene Comey, Alessi said that was a maintenance worker and house manager for Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion between 1990 and December 2002.

His role was to make sure the house looked like a ‘five star hotel’ for whenever Epstein arrived, including having hundred dollar bills in each of Epstein’s cars.

Alessi testified that he was given a lengthy checklist of tasks Maxwell and Epstein had him perform, which he called ‘very degrading’ and was enough work for ten men. 

One bullet on the checklist read, ‘See nothing. Say nothing.’

Asked by Comey what he understood that meant, Alessi replied: ‘I was supposed to be blind, deaf, to say nothing.’ 

To ‘never disclose’ Maxwell and Epstein’s ‘whereabouts or activities,’ he added. 

Jeffrey Epstein’s housekeeper Juan Alessi took the stand Thursday in Day Four of Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial

Alessi said that he worked as a maintenance worker and house manager for Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion between 1990 and December 2002

Alessi said that he worked as a maintenance worker and house manager for Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion between 1990 and December 2002 

This courtroom sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell entering court followed by two US Marshalls, for Day 4 of her trial

This courtroom sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell entering court followed by two US Marshalls, for Day 4 of her trial 

Alessi said that he first met Maxwell in 1991 and after that his relationship with Epstein became less ‘cordial’ and more ‘professional’.

Alessi said: ‘From the day she came to the house she right away took over. She mentioned to me she was going to be the lady of the house. She also told me she was in charge of (Epstein’s) other properties’

According to Alessi, Maxwell was with Epstein on his visits to the property ’95 percent of the time.’

Jeffrey Epstein's former housekeeper Juan Alessi claims that Ghislaine Maxwell opened up to him when he asked her why she was so close to the pedophile

Jeffrey Epstein’s former housekeeper Juan Alessi claims that Ghislaine Maxwell opened up to him when he asked her why she was so close to the pedophile

In an interview with Palm Beach police in 2005, Alessi admitted he would wash off vibrators and a long rubber penis after a young girl visited Epstein for a massage.

The bed would have to be made up after each massage as well, strongly suggesting some kind of sexual activity.

Asked if he saw women by the pool at the Palm Beach home, he replied ‘hundreds of times,’ adding that the women were topless 75%-80% of the time.  

Alessi said Thursday that Maxwell gave him ‘many, many instructions’ about how to run the house about every aspect of the property.

Prosecutor Comey asked Alessi about his understanding of the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein.

He replied that Maxwell was the ‘girlfriend’ of Epstein. 

Comey asked if Maxwell ever gave him instructions on how to speak to Epstein.

He said she told him that ‘I was only supposed to speak to Mr. Epstein when he asked a question’.

Comey asked if there were instructions from Maxwell about eye contact with Epstein.

Alessi said: ‘She said Jeffrey doesn’t like to be looked at in the eyes. You should never look at his eyes. Look at another part of the room and answer him’. 

 Last year Alessi appeared as a guest for a podcast interview with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the Epstein survivor who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, allegations he denies.  

Alessi revealed that the Duke of York visited Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach, Florida two or three times while he was there.

Andrew was memorable because he was so polite – and was the only one of Epstein’s guests to leave him a tip,’ he claimed. 

The interview with Alessi happened at his home in Florida last year when Giuffre turned up unannounced at his door.

They last saw each other in 2002 when Giuffre left for Thailand to train as a masseuse and never returned to Epstein, who had asked her to carry a baby for him and Maxwell before she left.

Their conversation turned to Maxwell and as former Epstein employees they used to bond over stories of mistreatment by their boss – Maxwell. 

Alessi spoke out in a podcast interview with Epstein survivor Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew

Alessi spoke out in a podcast interview with Epstein survivor Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew 

In the podcast Alessi said: ‘That relationship between Epstein and her I never understood.’

Giuffre said: ‘Me neither, I asked Maxwell, so…’

Alessi cut in and said ‘I told her many times. I said: ”Ghislaine, why are you doing this? Why are you staying with this guy?” (She said) ”I hate him, I hate him but I can’t leave”. I said: ”Why? You have money, why are you not leaving?”’

Giuffre says: ‘That relationship was confusing’.

He said that Epstein ‘liked massages from the day I met him’ and talks of a regime of secrecy inside the house.

He said: ‘I was not supposed to talk to the guests, I was not supposed to talk to Virginia. Nothing, no talking. I was not allowed to interrupt conversations’.

The six charges against Maxwell: 

THE CHARGES

Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (5 years max sentence)  

 Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (20 years)

Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (20 years)

Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (10 years minimum, life maximum)

Sex Trafficking Conspiracy

Sex Trafficking of a Minor 

Ghislaine Maxwell also faces two charges of perjury but those counts are due to be tried after her sex crimes trial. 

The charges relate to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed against her by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.  

THE ‘FACTS’ 

Prosecutors say Maxwell groomed three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein. 

They are not named in the indictment, but she allegedly targeted them in London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.

Maxwell, it is alleged, would befriend the girls by asking them about their life and their schooling. She would put them at ease by taking them to the movies and taking them shopping, winning their trust to later deliver them to Epstein, it’s alleged.

To ‘normalize’ the abuse that would come later, prosecutors say she undressed in front of the girls herself and asked them sexual questions. 

She then not only facilitated Epstein abusing them, prosecutors say, but took part in some of it herself. 

The alleged sex abuse includes ‘sexualized group massages’. 

The indictment also says Maxwell made the girl feel ‘indebted’ to Epstein by encouraging them to take money from him and let him pay for their education and travel.

Questioned by Prosecutor Maurene Comey, Alessi said that he worked as a maintenance worker and house manager for Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion between 1990 and December 2002. Pictured is Epstein's Palm Beach mansion submitted by the prosecution as evidence

Questioned by Prosecutor Maurene Comey, Alessi said that he worked as a maintenance worker and house manager for Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion between 1990 and December 2002. Pictured is Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion submitted by the prosecution as evidence 

Alessi claimed that he saw the lawyer Alan Dershowitz at Epstein’s house ‘many times’ but never with underage girls – Dershowitz denies any wrongdoing.

Alessi said: ‘Prince Andrew was at the house two or three times when I was there.

‘He was always polite and a very nice guy. He was the only guy who left us a tip’.

In the episode Alessi said it is ‘sickening’ to think about Giuffre being abused and claims he never saw anything suspicious.

But as Broken host Tara Palmeri points out, Alessi’s story is highly problematic because he has changed his story so often. 

Even in the podcast Alessi said that Epstein would ‘come to me and say call this girl, it was hundreds of girls that I have a list, call Joanne, call Judy, call Nicole, so many girls’. 

Alessi’s testimony came after Dr. Lisa Rocchio, a clinical and forensic psychologist, took the stand as the prosecution’s expert witness. 

Dr. Rocchio testified that giving massages and gifts could be key parts of the grooming process and said such ‘manipulative tactics’ were part of the five stages of grooming a child victim for abuse. 

Maxwell’s first accuser ‘Jane’ testified this week that Epstein paid for her schooling and apartment, promising to ‘give her the world’, before he sexually abused her. 

Dr. Lisa Rocchio, a clinical and forensic psychologist, took the stand as the prosecution's expert witness Thurday

Dr. Lisa Rocchio, a clinical and forensic psychologist, took the stand as the prosecution’s expert witness Thurday

Dr. Rocchio said she had been specializing in the field of traumatic stress and interpersonal violence for 30 years and was an assistant professor at Brown University as well as running her own practice.

She defined grooming as: ‘A series of deceptive tactics, strategies or MO that are used by perpetrators for the purpose of engaging a child in sexual abuse’.

The first stage was identifying a victim and predators looked for ‘vulnerable’ people such as those from disadvantaged homes, Rocchio said.

Stage two was ‘obtaining access’ to the victims and putting themselves in situations where their access to children ‘is not likely to be questioned.’

Prosecutors have claimed that Epstein and Maxwell first met Jane, the first accuser, at a children’s arts camp in Michigan where he donated $200,000 to have a lodge named after him.

Stage three was about ‘engaging in lies and deception’ to build a relationship with the victims including giving gifts such as ‘fancy clothes and jewelry’.

Such presents are intended to make the victim feel ‘special’, Rocchio said.

Prosecutors claim that Maxwell bought one of her accusers lingerie and a pair of boots for another.

The final two stages are a process of desensitization to physical and sexual touch, Dr. Rocchio said.

This can involve things like giving hugs, touching and ‘giving a massage.’

In her evidence, Maxwell’s first accuser, Jane, claimed Maxwell instructed her how to give Epstein a massage that would please him and that the abuse often happened in the massage room.

The final stage was a process of coercion to ensure the abuse continued and the victim did not tell anyone. 

Dr. Rocchio said that it was ‘very common’ for victims to delay disclosing the abuse, especially if they were young and they were more likely to disclose it to a friend than law enforcement.

Earlier the court heard from Paul Kane, the director of finance at Professional Children’s School, a performing arts school in Manhattan which Jane attended.

He was asked to read the name of the person who had ‘financial responsibility’ for Jane on her application to join the school in 12th grade, or 17 years old.

He said: ‘Mr. Jeffrey Epstein.’



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