By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) -A fourth Ghislaine Maxwell accuser testified at the British socialite’s sex abuse trial on Friday, recalling that late financier Jeffrey Epstein climbed into bed with her at his New Mexico ranch when she was 16.
The testimony by the woman, Annie Farmer, comes as the prosecution has said it could rest its case by the end of the week.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other charges for her alleged role in recruiting and grooming four teenagers for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Her attorneys say she is being scapegoated because Epstein is no longer alive.
Farmer said she was 16 when she visited Epstein and Maxwell at the ranch in the spring of 1996. Her older sister, Maria, worked for Epstein in New York at the time, and Farmer said she believed he would help her pay for her college education.
While at the ranch, Maxwell offered to give Farmer a massage, Farmer testified. Farmer agreed to receive the massage and got undressed, she said. Maxwell touched Farmer’s breasts during the massage, Farmer said.
“Once she pulled down the sheet I felt kind of frozen,” Farmer said.
Later on during the trip, Farmer said Epstein came into her room and climbed into bed with her.
“Suddenly Epstein kind of opened my door, bounding into the room in a playful way, saying that he wanted to cuddle,” Farmer said, adding that Epstein “pressed his body into me.”
She said she became uncomfortable and said she had to use the bathroom, which she described as an “excuse” to get away from Epstein.
The financier killed himself at age 66 in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New YorkEditing by Frances Kerry, Noeleen Walder, Alistair Bell and Mark Porter)