Epstein met first known underage victim at prestigious Michigan arts camp, book says

The convicted sex offender and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein allegedly met his first underage victim at a summer arts camp in Michigan to which he donated large sums of money, a new book says.

The camp was once attended by celebrities like Felicity Huffman, Norah Jones, Jewel, and Josh Groban, according to an excerpt from Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story by Julie Brown, an investigative reporter at the Miami Herald.

Epstein reportedly built himself a lodge on the campus of the Interlochen arts camp, located in the Michigan area with the same name.

Brown writes that Epstein used his vast wealth to “prey on young girls”. He would frequently visit the camp with Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently embroiled in a sex-trafficking case for allegedly acquiring underage girls for Epstein. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Ms Maxwell and Epstein reportedly “befriended” a 13-year-old girl at the camp in 1994.

“The girl had just lost her father, a classical music conductor, so she was still grieving and vulnerable,” Brown writes in an excerpt of the book, Fox News reported. “The camp maintains that they’ve never received a complaint about Epstein, and the woman, who is now living in California, has not spoken publicly.”

“In a sworn deposition, Epstein’s former butler, Alessi, mentioned that the girl often visited Epstein’s Florida mansion and in later years, her name appears on the flight logs of his plane,” Brown added.

Brown noted that an unidentified woman filed a lawsuit in January 2020 that included allegations of a similar camp meeting with Epstein when the woman was 13 years old.

“The woman said she was sitting alone on a bench between classes when Epstein and Maxwell approached her, telling her that they were arts patrons who wanted to give talented young artists like her scholarships,” Brown writes.

The woman who filed the lawsuit alleged that the pair started asking her about her background. Epstein then asked for her phone number. He later contacted the girl’s mother, saying he “helped young talent”. He invited both to his Palm Beach, Florida mansion.

“Over the next several months, Epstein and Maxwell tried to groom the thirteen-year-old girl. He told her to call him her ‘godfather,’ and Maxwell befriended her like an older sister, the suit claims,” Brown writes. “They took her to the movies, went shopping, and invited her to spend more and more time at the estate. Soon, the sexual comments started.”

Epstein reportedly paid for the girl’s music lessons and also sent funds to her mother.

Brown’s book, to be published on Tuesday, states that Epstein abused the girl for years. Ms Maxwell allegedly scolded her if she tried to reject Epstein’s advances. He allegedly moved both the girl and her mother to an apartment in New York and paid for the girl to go to private school.

“In 1999, when she was eighteen, she finally left him and moved away to start a new life. For a while, Epstein repeatedly called and berated her for not appreciating him. But soon, the calls stopped. By then Epstein had moved on to new, younger prey,” Brown writes.

Epstein died in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Ms Maxwell has been in jail since July 2020 and is facing charges of enticement of minors, sex trafficking of children, and perjury.

She has pleaded not guilty and denies all the allegations against her. Her trial is scheduled to begin in November.

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