Strength of case against Ghislaine Maxwell relies heavily on just one of four alleged victims

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  • Ghislaine Maxwell
    Ghislaine Maxwell
    Socialite
  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
Ghislaine Maxwell - Rick Bajornas/AP
Ghislaine Maxwell - Rick Bajornas/AP

The strength of the prosecution’s case against Ghislaine Maxwell relies heavily on the testimony of just one of the four alleged victims, The Telegraph understands.

The US government plans to focus on evidence from Annie Farmer, who is the only accuser in Ms Maxwell’s indictment to waive her anonymity for the trial set to start on Monday.

Ms Farmer says she was introduced to Ms Maxwell and her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein by her sister aged 16 and alleges she was taken to the financier’s ranch in New Mexico where she was sexally assaulted in 1996.

Ms Farmer has said that Ms Maxwell exposed her breasts and groped her during a topless massage, letting Epstein watch.

Her allegations of her abuse have remained relatively consistent over the years since she first reported Epstein to the FBI months after the alleged incident took place.

“Maxwell was a really important part of the grooming process,” Ms Farmer told CBS in a rare interview in 2019. “They worked together as a team.”

That same year, Ms Farmer filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate and Ms Maxwell. She eventually accepted a compensation offer from the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Fund, which required her to drop her suit.

One source with close knowledge of the case told The Telegraph: “She is the witness you want on the stand. Her story will be most convincing to the jury and the hardest one for the defence to answer.”

Ms Maxwell denies the charges.

Ms Maxwell’s team last week sought to completely dismiss “Victim 3’s” evidence, or at least bar any suggestion that she was a “minor” who suffered “sexual abuse.”

Victim 3, who is understood to be British, claims she was groomed by Epstein and Ms Maxwell in London in 1994 when she was around 17 years old.

However, the abuse is alleged to have occurred later in New Mexico where the age of consent is 16.

A letter from the prosecution argued that the woman's evidence was relevant even if she was over the age of consent because it showed the “core of the conspiracy” for which Ms Maxwell is charged.

In the indictment, the British socialite is accused of conspiring to “entice” and “transport” minor victims to perform illegal sexual acts with Epstein.

Instead, the judge said she will instruct the jury they could not convict Ms Maxwell over that alleged conduct alone.

Meanwhile, “Victim 4” was added to the indictment several months after the first charges were brought.

According to court documents, the defence plans to call into question the credibility and character of the anonymised victim.

Ms Maxwell’s lawyers have claimed her statements have been inconsistent over the years, changing her story when speaking to both law enforcement and psychiatrists.

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