by Paul Serran
This is an ongoing series. To read the previous articles, click on the links below.
Ghislaine Maxwell is being charged with trafficking underage girls as young as 14 for abuse and exploitation by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The alleged crimes occurred between 1994 and 2004. Daughter of newspaper Mogul Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine became known as Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and is now being tried as an alleged accomplice.
Prosecutors had told the jury that authorities found schoolgirl costumes at Epstein’s New York home in 2019, and sexually suggestive images, one of which was of a ‘clearly underage’ girl ‘pulling down her underwear, exposing her buttocks’.
But now, it was the time to expose the situation in the Palm Beach house during the time frame when the crimes that Maxwell is being charged with took place.
On its fifth court day, Maxwell’s trial saw the deposition of Gregory Parkinson, a former Palm Beach PD officer. He was a crime scene investigator involved in the execution of the search warrant of Epstein’s Palm Beach house.
The government introduced a map of Palm Beach with a red dot that the witness identified as the Epstein property. Parkinson gave jurors the ‘lay of the land’ and moved on to discuss his October 20, 2005 visit to Epstein’s property at 358 El Brillo Way.
Parkinson walked the jury through the video that he recorded during that search. Although the jurors were being shown the footage, others in the courtroom, including reporters, were not permitted to view it.
A lot of photos were also introduced as evidence. We are using the unsealed ones, distributed to the press, in this article to illustrate all that. Including one that shows Maxwell, naked, lying down on the beach.
Parkinson explained how he went into the Garden Room, the Lake Room – which was an office and a library – and also into the kitchen area.
Parkinson was questioned about the video that he shot of a walk-through of Epstein’s Palm Beach residence. He described a photograph of Pope John Paul with Jeffrey Epstein and another one with Fidel Castro.
The footage, which was unseen by either press or the public, turned to the second floor of Epstein’s Palm Beach residence.
AUSA Maurene Comey then told the witness and the jurors to look at one sealed exhibit after another. Comey then led the witness through photographs, which were being openly displayed.
With all this excessive unsealing, eventually, even Judge Allison Nathan said that prosecutors had gone too far when sealing the entire 39-minute video. The judge ordered the release of a redacted version of the footage. AUSA Comey promised to work on that.
Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, told the judge that sealing the roughly 39-minute video gave the public impression that the house was a ‘domicile of debauchery.’ After all, only a couple of images in the video were at issue, she said.
Comey showed Parkinson more unsealed photos.
Parkinson: [This one is] a bathroom with a phone and a pink, three-cushion couch. And that’s a portable inflatable massage table.
In a moment that was not without some drama, the jurors took a close look at a piece of furniture that has been much discussed during the trial, and was one of the items officers seized during that 2005 visit: a bright green (or dark green, depending on the source) collapsible massage table, found in a second-floor bathroom.
The actual Epstein’s massage table was brought into the courtroom and shown to the jury. It was like carrying a folding ‘crime scene’ for all to see.
Comey: We offer this [massage table) into evidence. I asked that the exhibit be published for the jury by setting the table up.
Parkinson left the witness box, put on black disposable gloves and proceeded to identify it.
Parkinson: Now the table is in an open position.
A photograph of the sticker, underneath it, shows it was Made in California, USA. Parkinson testified that the evidence label attached to the table demonstrated that it was the same one taken in 2005.
The massage table remained there, in front of the judge’s bench, for the rest of the afternoon, at about 10 feet from where Maxwell sat with her defense attorneys.
Parkinson further stated that the evidence was transferred to the FBI in 2006.
Judge Nathan: Mr. Everdell, you may cross.
Maxwell’s lawyer Everdell asked if Parkinson previously investigated a burglary in Epstein’s house, which he agreed he had done. He also asked if several thousand dollars had been stolen. Parkinson confirmed this, too.
Maxwell’s counsel proceeded to ask Parkinson about his knowledge of the defendant.
Everdell: You don’t know who Ghislaine Maxwell is?
Parkinson: I do not.
Everdell was jumping around with his questions and reportedly laughing uncomfortably. Without him being able to apparently make any important points, Everdell’s cross-examination of Parkinson was over.
The next witness for the prosecution was Michael Dawson, one of the detectives from Palm Beach PD who searched Epstein’s residence.
AUSA: What were you looking for, during the search?
Dawson: Massage tables and oil. Sex toys, correspondence and other materials. There were a lot of photos of nude females, some of which were found in closets. We seized a phone book, a massage table, photos…
Also found during the search were sex toys. Dawson introduced a photograph of a box into evidence. Brand name: The “Twin Torpedoes.” He said it contained sex toys taken from an upstairs closet in the Palm Beach house.
This find by the Palm Beach PD confirms much of what was said in victim Jane’s and Juan Alessi’s testimony, namely, that the ‘massages’ involved sexual activities, and eventually the use of sex toys.
Jane, the first accuser who testified at the trial, said Epstein used sex toys on her while abusing her during ‘massages’. She testified that Epstein used a vibrator on her when she was 14 years old, and was alone at his house with Maxwell and Epstein.
‘He liked to use vibrators that were different sizes; and even, like, those back massagers that were, you know, painful.’
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.