Ghislaine Maxwell should not be allowed to rummage through the teenage diary of the woman identified as “Minor Victim-2” in her indictment, federal prosecutors told a judge late on Tuesday.
In March, the recipient of that subpoena was identified by her attorneys as Annie Farmer, one of the two siblings described by the New York Times as “The Sisters Who First Tried to Take Down Jeffrey Epstein.”
Farmer was 16 years old when she said she was subjected to a topless massage in Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico in 1996.
Her older sister Maria Farmer also alleged that Epstein and Maxwell assaulted her at billionaire Les Wexner’s Ohio estate, on which Epstein owned a guest house, in an incident the elder Farmer says she reported to the New York City Police Department and the FBI.
“To the extreme detriment of Maria and Annie—and also countless other victims who came after them—authorities ignored Maria’s reporting efforts and took no action,” attorneys for the younger Farmer sister wrote in a lawsuit in 2019.
It is undisputed that Farmer did not write about Maxwell in her diary, but the accused sex trafficker’s lawyers want the journal anyway, which the defense views as exculpatory.
Prosecutors say that there is a reason Maxwell does not appear within its pages.
“As the government explained in its opposition to that motion, the government understands that Minor Victim-2 stopped writing in her diary shortly after meeting Jeffrey Epstein, so there are no entries regarding her later trip with Epstein, during which she met the defendant,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurene Comey wrote in a 9-page letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan.
“The victim provided the government with her entries relating to Epstein, which the government in turn produced to the defense,” the letter continued. “The remainder of the diary consists of Minor Victim-2’s unrelated personal diary entries, and the defendant has not explained and cannot explain why she needs to review those entries to establish a fact that the government has acknowledged.”
Maxwell’s lawyers say that they learned diary’s existence become public when Farmer used partial pages of it in civil litigation against Epstein and they want to send it for forensic analysis.
“Inspection of the entire journal is necessary to establish whether the journal is authentic and complete and whether or not spoliation has occurred,” Maxwell’s attorney Jeffrey S. Pagliuca wrote in late April. “This examination requires the services of a qualified forensic document examiner and cannot be performed in the middle of trial without a significant disruption in the proceedings.”
Replying that this argument “lacks merit,” prosecutors note that Maxwell’s defense team “does not identify any basis for doubting the authenticity of the documents,” which they expect Farmer to authenticate at trial.
“The defendant’s bare assertion that authenticity might somehow be in doubt is hardly a sufficiently detailed explanation of relevance and admissibility to justify a subpoena for a minor victim’s personal journal,” the government’s letter states.
Farmer’s lawyer Sigrid S. McCawley and prosecutors both call Maxwell’s request a “fishing expedition.”
Prosecutors also want Judge Nathan to reject Maxwell’s subpoena for boots that Farmer says Epstein gave to her at the ranch.
“Upon arriving, Maxwell and Epstein took Annie shopping and lavished her with gifts, including beauty products and a pair of brand new cowboy boots,” Farmer’s lawsuit against Epstein’s estate and Maxwell stated.
On April 23, Maxwell’s defense counsel wanted to inspect the boots.
“The examination will identify the make and provenance of the boots, something which would be difficult to do during any trial without significant delay,” the defense’s letter stated.
Prosecutors said that they asked Farmer’s lawyers to turn the boots over the FBI and that she will “likely agree to do so.”
“This appears to be an attempt to use the boots to impeach Minor Victim-2’s testimony, shrouded again in a conclusory claim about the need for authentication,” the prosecution’s brief said.
Originally scheduled for July, Maxwell’s trial date has been postponed until autumn in light of new sex-trafficking charges that a grand jury indicted her for in March. She has been accused of grooming and abusing girls for Epstein’s predation. Her new trial date has not yet been set, and she will be tried separately on perjury claims related to her civil litigation with Virginia Giuffre, who sued Maxwell for denying that she turned her into Epstein’s “sex slave.”
Read the government’s opposition to Maxwell’s subpoenas below:
(image via JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images)
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