by Paul Serran
This is an ongoing series. To read the previous articles, click on the links below.
Witness for the prosecution Juan Patricio Alessi is a trusted and widely used source in the Epstein universe. From the Palm Beach PD investigations to the Virginia Giuffre-Ghislaine Maxwell civil suit, he is always called.
As a long-time caretaker of Epstein’s Palm Beach house, he has intimate knowledge of the association between Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. But, as we can see, he is also not without flaws himself – something the defense will try to explore.
Alessi testified that he’ll be turning 72 within weeks. He came from Quito, Ecuador, and moved to Florida in early 1984. He worked for the powerful Wexner family, in Les Wexner’s mother’s house in Palm Beach, as a maintenance guy. Then, he started working for Jeffrey Epstein.
Assistant US Attorney Maureen Comey: When Mr. Epstein was in Palm Beach, where did you sleep?
Alessi: I had a room there.
Comey: Who else worked there?
Alessi: I brought my wife to help me. And other girls.
‘She was a pretty girl.’ Alessi said of Maxwell. ‘Tall, brunette.’ He recalled Maxwell being with Epstein ‘95%’ of the time. Alessi also said that she was the ‘lady of the house’, who ruled the home with an iron fist.
Comey: How did things change, after Ms. Maxwell got involved?
Alessi: Things were less cordial. There was less conversation. I was not allowed to see Mr. Epstein anymore unless he asked me a question. Ms. Maxwell said, ‘Don’t look him in the eyes’.
Epstein and Maxwell were very demanding. ‘The cars had to be immaculate, the house had to be run like a five-star hotel.’
Alessi described Epstein’s Palm Beach home in great detail.
Alessi: This is the 2nd floor. That is toward Mr. Epstein’s bedroom. There was a huge bathroom.
Comey: And what’s that other bathroom?
Alessi: That’s Ms. Maxwell’s bathroom.
Comey: But they both came off the master bedroom?
Comey: Where did Ms. Maxwell sleep in the Palm Beach house?
Maxwell’s lawyer: Objection! (Overruled)
Alessi: She slept in Mr. Epstein’s bedroom.
Comey: How many times did you see females by Mr. Epstein’s pool?
Alessi: Hundreds [of times].
Comey: How often were they topless?
Alessi: 75% of the time.
AUSA: How about Little St. James?
Alessi: I was on a cruise with my wife to St. Thomas. They picked us up and showed us Little St. James. It was huge.
AUSA: Did you visit any Ms. Maxwell property?
Alessi: Her townhome in London. She invited us. It had a red front door.
An instruction booklet drafted by Maxwell to the employees is presented.
Comey: What conversations did you have with Ms. Maxwell about this booklet?
Alessi: I told her I could not do this checklist, with all my other work.
Comey: How long is this book?
Alessi: 58 pages. It’s a list of what were supposed to do to maintain the house.
‘See nothing. Say nothing,’ one bullet said. ‘Respect their privacy.’ Alessi explained: ‘I was supposed to be blind, deaf, to say nothing.’
‘Never disclose’ Epstein’s or Maxwell’s ‘whereabouts or activities’, another bullet point said.
Comey: What is this?
Alessi: Instructions for serving breakfast. Sometimes at 5 am.
AUSA: Who else worked there?
Alessi: Chefs. My wife. Ms. Maxwell’s assistant. Then Sarah Kellen.
Alessi: Two females seemed to be underage.
AUSA: Don’t say their names. Jurors, look at the binders under your chairs.
Comey: Is that name of the person we’ll call Jane?
Alessi: Yes. I met Virginia Roberts too.
Comey: When you met Jane, how old was she?
Juan Alessi: Appeared 14 or 15. She was beautiful, beautiful eyes, long brunette hair, very pleasant. Three times she was there with her mother. Then, without her mother, many times.
Alessi testified that he would drive her to the house, on the direction of Epstein or Maxwell.
Alessi also said he remembers picking up Jane in the school of the arts. He was corroborating multiple parts of Jane’s testimony.
Comey: When did you meet Ms. Virginia Roberts?
Alessi: I was at Mar-A-Lago with Ms. Maxwell. I waited in the car like the driver. It was a hot day. Ms. Maxwell said stop, John, Stop. I did, and Ms. Maxwell went up to this girl.
Comey: How did she look?
Alessi: She looked young. She had blonde hair, and used a long white uniform, like a nurse. By 5 pm I saw her [Virginia Roberts] back at the house.
Comey: How old did you think Ms. Roberts was?
Alessi: 14 or 15.
Comey: Did Ms. Maxwell ever instruct you to pick up Ms. Roberts?
Comey: Did you ever see Ms. Roberts at Mr. Epstein’s home with luggage?
Alessi: Yes. I drove them to the plane.
AUSA: How many massages would Mr. Epstein get a day?
Alessi: Before I left, three a day. I called whoever they told me to call.
Asked when Epstein would get his massages, he replied that it happened in the morning, in the afternoon, and after dinner.
Comey: Did the phone books we discussed have names for massage in them?
Comey: Did you see Jane’s name in it?
Alessi: Yes. The books were updated twice a year.
Comey: Did you take messages for Mr. Epstein?
Alessi: If he didn’t want to take the call. Or wasn’t there.
There was a Voir dire on this exhibit. The Maxwell defense asked to clarify the date he left Epstein’s employment, in 2002. Then, direct examination resumed.
Comey: Did Ms, Maxwell give you supplies for the massages?
Alessi: Exotic oils from other countries.
Comey: Was Mr. Epstein’s door open during the massages?
Alessi: Never. Afterwards, I went in with gloves.
Alessi: To clean up.
Comey: What did you see after the massages? Towels?
Alessi: Yes. But not in all of the massages.
Comey: Do any incidents stand out in your mind?
Alessi: I found a large dildo.
Comey: What did it look like?
Alessi: It looked like a huge man’s penis, with two heads.
Comey: What did you do with it?
Alessi: Washed it up.
Comey: Where did you put the dildo?
Alessi: In Ms. Maxwell’s bathroom. In a basket.
AUSA: How did you know where to put it?
Alessi: I knew everything going on in the house. That’s the place it was kept all the time.
AUSA: What else was in the basket?
Alessi: I saw pornographic tapes.
Comey: How often did you see the dildo?
Alessi: At least five times.
Comey: Were there photographs of naked women?
Alessi: Yes. But those were kept In Ms. Maxwell’s desk.
Comey: Why did you leave Mr. Epstein’s employ?
Alessi: I was sick, and also tired.
Comey: Did you sign a non-disclosure agreement?
Alessi: Yes. About both of them.
Then it was time to address the questions that could take away from his credibility.
Comey: Were you questioned by the police after you took $6300 from Mr. Epstein?
He admitted that he stole money from Epstein’s house at a time his marriage was on the rocks and he was financially struggling.
AUSA: Were you arrested?
Alessi says he paid it back, and never saw Epstein again. Direct examination concludes.
Rather than start cross with 13 minutes remaining, the trial adjourned for the day. On the following day, Maxwell’s lawyer said to the Judge (before the jury came in): Seeing semen on the [massage] table is going to be prejudicial.
AUSA: It was a white stain. It is entirely probative as to whether these massages were just massages or were in fact sexual.
Judge Nathan: I would permit lab tests.
AUSA: The fact that Mr. Epstein had a collection of schoolgirl uniforms is relevant.
Pagliuca: This has little connection to Ms. Maxwell and is prejudicial.
AUSA: Schoolgirl costumes, small ones, were found in the massage room.
Pagliuca: They should not be described as school girl uniforms.
AUSA: I’ll just lay a foundation then ask the witness about them.
Judge Nathan: You could say, without describing them: did you find these items?
Pagliuca: We think these photos of nude gir1s in the massage room should be excluded.
Judge Nathan: Maybe there’s a way to position two screens, and only show them to the jurors.
Alessi returned to the stand., and the jury entered.
Maxwell’s lawyer made Alessi admit that he also called himself John, and that was not taken as an insult.
Pagliuca: You took $6300 dollars, right?
Pagliuca: But didn’t you lie – when you stole twice, in fact?
Alessi: I did not lie.
Pagliuca: Didn’t you try to steal a gun? Didn’t you steal over $5000 to pay for the immigration papers of your girlfriend?
Alessi: It was not my girlfriend.
Pagliuca: Police Officer Dawson questioned you?
Alessi: No, I went to him.
Pagliuca: You told him you went in to steal a gun.
Alessi: I don’t recall.
Pagliuca: You might have said it, but now you don’t recall?
Alessi: That’s it.
Pagliuca: You went back once again to steal money? Alessi: I did it one time and I think that is what I told the police.
Pagliuca: You stole $6000 when you owned properties valued at $1million.
Alessi: I sold those properties, to buy the property for the multi-family.
During all this, Ghislaine Maxwell is leaning back and even masked, seems pleased with herself. Maxwell’s lawyer said the real name of one of the pseudonymous survivor witnesses out loud.
Judge Nathan: You are admonished to abide by my rulings.
Pagliuca: Mr. Alessi, didn’t you keep a Rolodex of the girls?
Alessi: No, of the massage therapists.
Pagliuca: You got referrals for massage therapists?
Alessi: No, sir.
Pagliuca: Isn’t it true that Mr. Epstein bought other women to the house and told you to remove the pictures of Ms. Maxwell from the house?
Alessi: I did what he told me to do.
Pagliuca: Mr. Alessi, as Mr. Epstein’s direction you called women and set up massages, correct?
Pagliuca: And that doesn’t make you guilty of sex trafficking, does it?
Pagliuca: And when you cleaned the massage room, you never saw signs of violence, right? No one complained to you of that?
Alessi(loud voice): No but I wish they had, I would have done something.
Cross-examination ends, no re-direct from prosecutors.
This series of articles would not be possible without the live-tweeting efforts of Inner City Press and Adam Klasfeld.
Stay tuned for more updates.