Epstein victim says 'sharks were a welcome alternative' when trying to escape island
Maxwell's trial is ongoing
Sarah Ransome, one of the accusers of the late Jeffrey Epstein, has said "sharks were a welcome alternative" as she recalled trying to escape from his private island.
Ransome, 37, says she was willing to brave shark-infested waters after she was repeatedly raped for three days, reports the Daily Mail.
"I knew there were sharks in the water but I had to get away," she said.
'At that point the sharks were a welcome alternative to the hell I'd been through. In that moment death felt preferable to one more rape.'
Ransome claims that Epstein's business partner Ghislaine Maxwell was the one to stop her.
"She placed her hand on my back and said: 'It's OK honey. Come with me.' And I went back with her into the monster's lair," she told the outlet.
This comes amid Maxwell's ongoing trial in New York, where she is standing trial for the following accusations:
- Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Sex trafficking conspiracy
- Sex trafficking of a minor
Maxwell has denied all charges, but Ransome says she wants to "look Ghislaine in the eyes" if she is convicted.
"I want her to know I'm there when her sentence is read.
"I want justice to finally be done."
She said that Epstein was charismatic and charming, seeming genuinely interested in her.
She continued: "He was old but I didn't think of him as a dirty old man. I felt safe because there were so many girls my age with him.
"They were well-groomed, they seemed happy.
"In my naivety I felt grateful that I'd landed on my feet by meeting these new friends.
"I had no idea I was being groomed to enter hell."
The 37-year-old New York resident filed a civil suit against Epstein and Maxwell in 2017, which was then settled.
At the time, Maxwell's lawyer Laura Menninger said: "This is not and never will be a sex-trafficking case. It is the story of a brief, consensual relationship between two adults.
"Ms Ransome may have come to regret her consensual relationship with Mr Epstein but that does not mean she was the victim of unlawful sex trafficking or that Ms Maxwell is somehow liable for it."
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