The Ghislaine Maxwell Trial – Part 4: A Victim’s Ex-boyfriend, School Officials and a Grooming Expert

by Paul Serran

This is an ongoing series. To read the previous articles, click on the links below.

The Ghislaine Maxwell Trial – Part 1

The Ghislaine Maxwell Trial – Part 2: The Pilot Testifies

The Ghislaine Maxwell Trial – Part 3: Victim Jane’s Testimony

Victim Jane’s testimony opened the door for the inclusion of the testimony of her ex-boyfriend and also present work colleague. As the defense alleged that Jane changed her story because of the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund, the ex-boyfriend was called to testify that she told him the same story years before the Compensation Fund was created.

He was presented anonymously – naming him would effectively disclose her name – and is being called ‘Matt’.

Jane’s ex-boyfriend ‘Matt’ testified to confirm her previous statements.

It bears remembering that Jane had already testified that, when they were together, she confided in Matt that she had been abused by Epstein and Maxwell. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe started the questioning for the prosecution.

AUSA Alison Moe: How do you know Jane?

Matt: She’s my ex-girlfriend, we were together from 2006 to 2014.

Moe: Did you live together?

Matt: Yes. From 2007 to 2014.

Matt explained that they are still friends, and work on the same TV show. He testified to the jury that he’s been working as an actor for the past 15 years.

Moe: What did Jane tell you about her home life?

Defense lawyer: Objection. It’s hearsay.

Judge Nathan: Ms. Moe, I’ll ask you to narrow the question.

Moe: Did Jane speak about her family finances when she grew up?

Matt: Yes. That when her father got sick, they went broke. The mother was working a small job. They slept in the same bed.

Matt recounted how Jane told him she had a godfather, who helped pay her family’s bills and was ‘looking out for her family.’

Matt: Later, she told me it was Jeffrey Epstein. I said, ‘He helped pay your bills?’ She said ‘Yes’.

Moe: When did she tell you she met Epstein?

Maxwell’s Defense lawyer: Objection.

Judge Nathan: Ask more specific questions.

Moe: Did Jane tell you what happened between her and Jeffrey Epstein?

Matt: Not specifically.

Moe: Did she say why he gave her money?

Matt: She said, ‘It was not fucking free’. She never went into detail. She just said that it wasn’t pretty.

Moe: Did she ever use the word ‘massage’?

Defense: Objection-leading.

Nathan: Overruled. I’ll allow it.

Matt: Yes.

Matt confirmed that Jane told him about Maxwell’s involvement in her abuse.

Moe: Did Jane tell you about a woman, in the house, who was involved?

Matt: Yes.

Moe: Did she tell you that the woman in the house made her feel comfortable?

Matt: Yes.

Moe: Did she give the woman’s name?

Matt: No.

Moe: What was her demeanor like when Jane told you about Jeffrey Epstein?

Matt: Shame.

Moe: How did you learn Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested?

Matt: On the news. I asked Jane, ‘Is that the woman you told me about?’ And she said ‘Yes’.

Moe: No further questions.

[As a personal note, I think that the fact that Jane didn’t mention too many details to Matt, or even mention Maxwell’s name, adds credibility to the testimony. Given the relationship context, too perfect a tale coming from him would feel rigged.]

Rather surprisingly, Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, declined to cross­ examine Matt. Either it is because they feel his testimony isn’t strong or else they don’t feel confident they could pierce it, I’m not sure. Maybe they are saving it for their round of witnesses.

Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Next witness to be called to a very brief, clerical testimony, was Daniel Vesselsen, Vice President of Finance of Interlochen Art Academy.  He explains that Interlochen, Michigan is near Traverse City.

AUSA: How do you keep fundraising records?

Vesselsen: Sales Force.

A letter was introduced, sent to Epstein about the scholarship lodge, how much he’d donate. A photo of the lodge is also entered into evidence.

AUSA: What’s this?

Vesselsen: The lodge formerly known as the Jeffrey Epstein Scholarship Lodge.

Cross examination by Maxwell’s lawyer: You don’t have records for the individual and the individual’s siblings, correct?

Vesselsen: Correct.

Maxwell’s lawyer: Mr. Epstein certainly was a major donor, correct?

Vesselsen: Yes.

NYC’s Professional Children’s School.

The following witness to be called was Paul Kane, of NYC’s Professional Children’s School.

The prosecutor shows him Government Exhibit 721. ‘Do you recognize it?’

Kane: An enrollment application for a student.

AUSA: Don’t say the name. Is it an accurate copy?

Kane: Yes.

Maxwell’s lawyer: Objection – hearsay!

AUSA: It’s a business record.

Judge Nathan: Overruled.

Some form of Voir dire took place, with prosecutors and defense asking questions alternatively.

Maxwell’s lawyer: Can I question the witness?

Judge Nathan: Go ahead.

Maxwell’s lawyer: The Professional Children’s School doesn’t verify the accuracy of the info on the form, does it?

Kane: I think they do.

Maxwell’s lawyer. All of it?

Kane: That, I don’t know.

AUSA: Your Honor, may I?

Judge Nathan: You may.

AUSA: What happens to information coming in?

Kane: We contact the family by phone, then invite them to tour the school and have a conversation.

AUSA: Does the School rely on the form?

Kane: Yes.

After sidebar/Voir dire, document was included.

AUSA: What grade was the person applying for?

Kane: 12th. Due to ‘move to New York.’

USA: Who’s listed as person of financial responsibility?

Jane: Mr. Jeffrey Epstein.

AUSA: Thanks. No further questions.

Cross-examination then took place.

Maxwell’s lawyer: You have no idea if Mr. Epstein actually paid.

Kane: I do not.

Maxwell’s lawyer: And for the mother, does it say unemployed [on the form]?

Kane: It says self-employed, as an interior decorator.

Maxwell’s lawyer: And who is the listed agent?

AUSA: Objection!

Judge Nathan: Just make the jurors look at it.

Maxwell’s lawyer: Look the name in the corner. And the name of the prior principal. You don’t have to say them for the record. No further questions.

Dr. Lisa Rocchio testified on grooming strategies.

Following that, the prosecution called Dr. Lisa Rocchio, who stated that she has a Masters and PhD from the University of Rhode Island.

AUSA: Did you interview anyone in this case?

Rocchio: No.

AUSA: Does your pay [as an expert] depend on outcome of the trial?

Rocchio: No.

AUSA: What is grooming?

Rocchio: Strategies to get children into sex.

Dr. Rocchio said that she had seen grooming in the Boy Scouts, introduced during a special camping trip. Or the giving of jewelry, anything to make the child feel that they are appreciated.

AUSA: How common is it for a child to be repeatedly abused by the same perp?

Rocchio: Very common. It’s by people who are close to the child.

AUSA: What is a ‘grooming environment’?

Rocchio: It’s when perp develops trust with people around the child, for example with the parents.

AUSA: Are victims of child sexual abuse likely to report it to the police?

Rocchio: No.

Dr. Rocchio detailed the five steps in the sexual grooming of children.

  • Selection and identification of victims.
  • Obtaining access to victims.
  • Lies, deception and manipulation.
  • Desensitization to sexual content
  • Maintaining control

AUSA: What is the long term impact?

Rocchio: They are at higher risk for adverse outcomes.

AUSA: Nothing further.

The cross-examination of the Maxwell defense have been consistently brief.

Cross-examination by the defense was (again) brief.

Maxwell’s lawyer: Doctor Rocchio, you have a $45,000 contract for this, correct?

Rocchio: Yes.

Maxwell’s lawyer: If one had a brain injury, it might be hard to remember, right?

AUSA: Objection.

Judge Nathan: Sustained.

Maxwell’s lawyer: Alcohol would harm recall too. yes?

AUSA: Objection.

Judge Nathan: Sustained.

Maxwell’s lawyer: Are you familiar with confabulation?

AUSA: Objection!

Judge: Overruled.

Maxwell’s lawyer: It’s filling in the gaps.

AUSA: Objection.

Judge: Sustained.

Maxwell’s lawyer: My grandfather liked to take me to the Bronx Zoo. Was that grooming?


This series of articles would not have been possible without the outstanding live-tweeting work by Inner City Press and Adam Klasfeld.

 Stay tuned for new updates.

About the author

Paul Serran


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  • from Vanity Fair:
    Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial, but the case has always been about more than her. In seeking to put the disgraced British heiress behind bars for a possible 80 years, prosecutors are aiming to redress serial failures by the justice system to punish the crimes of her partner: the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Which is why it’s shocking—and tragic—that the prosecution’s case against Maxwell appears far weaker than many people expected.

    The list of prosecutorial missteps is long. Victims have appeared unprepared for cross-examination. High-profile coconspirators have not yet been called to testify about Maxwell’s alleged role in Epstein’s child sex trafficking operation. On Tuesday, prosecutors stunned reporters in the courthouse viewing room by announcing the government intends to rest its case weeks earlier than anticipated. It all raises the painful question: Will Maxwell go free?

  • Maxwell’s lawyer: My grandfather liked to take me to the Bronx Zoo. Was that grooming?

    I’d like to see the answer to that.

    “Grooming” seems to me to be one of those over-broad, ill-defined psychology buzzwords that can be applied to a wide range of things. The crux of the matter is: was an adult having sex with a kid?

    Grandpa being nice to the kid and bringing her to the zoo is fine. He may even assure the parents he’ll take care of the kid. He’s just being nice. Not grooming.

    If he does all those things in exactly the same way, and has sex with the kid, it’s grooming.

    • Sadly, “grooming” has been co-opted by SJWs to mean any relationship where an older man with some power (be it money, position, fame, etc.) may have taken advantage of a younger legally-aged woman. Usually, the woman knowingly entered into the relationship fully aware and uncaring of the age discrepancy (until the relationship ends), stayed in the relationship for a not short amount of time, unhappy about how the relationship ended (often involving cheating) with a component of “promises” as part of the whole thing. In short, it’s what I call “ex-shit” with a weird component of almost escorting as the woman often were expecting something (money, fame, career boost, etc.) for being in the relationship. Part of the anger is the “payment” never materialized or not as good as expected.

      This is versus what is the traditional (and should be only) use of the word “grooming” where an older man, using his position of power be it money, fame, or position (family head, church leader, what have you), to condition a minor (male or female) in a dependent position (like in this case financial) to enter into a relationship with them when under normal circumstances, they likely would have not done so. Sometimes it remains 100% in the realm of statutory rape as with Epstein but often the person manipulates and waits until they become of legal age before having sex with them. It’s not statutory rape because if the person waits until it’s legal to turn it sexual but years of effort may have been involved to get to that point.

      This kind of case is exactly why terminology can matter and when people co-opt the terms to apply them in ways they are not meant to apply, they are doing no one any favors. Can the older man, young woman be a form of grooming? Sure, but it’s not the same thing and should be given a different word/definition as a result. One involves a child turning adult who isn’t aware of the manipulations in play, the other involves 2 consenting adults, both willing to participate and expecting some sort of reward for that participation.

  • Shocking Photo Shows Jeffrey Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell Posing At Queen Elizabeth’s Log Cabin

    A revealing photo that emerged from Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial shows the socialite with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein cuddling at Queen Elizabeth’s log cabin retreat.

    The never-before-seen picture shows Maxwell and Epstein lounging outside Her Majesty’s Balmoral lodge in Glen Beg, Scotland, where Prince Andrew reportedly hosted pedophile Epstein in 1999.

    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸
    Newly released photos show Maxwell and Epstein relaxing at a cabin thought to be the porch of the Queen’s log cabin

    • Shadow, if Frank posts about school shootings, don’t link InfoWars articles or you might get sued and have to pay judgements to the victims.

    • Vaguely interesting. At most, it proves Ghislaine and Epstein were very much together so it increases the argument she was fully aware of everything he was involved in. Sadly, it isn’t enough proof to nail Prince Andrew as rich people tend to share each other’s expensive locations and things. It’s why the whole “look proof of Epstein and Clinton” is super dumb when I can go “look, Jane testified she met Trump and Epstein together at age 14 under oath!” Good for click bait, but fails to be proof of anything meaningful on its own.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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