A woman whom Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein allegedly sodomized and raped at the age of 12 along with at least one other underage girl at a midtown Manhattan townhouse in 1994 is alive and trying to maintain obscurity from alt-right operatives who have identified her and her current residence.
The Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) and Justice Integrity Project (JIP) are revealing here for the first time the story of “Maria,” who was identified as such in two 2016 federal civil lawsuits brought against Trump and Epstein by another underage victim of the pair, Katie Johnson (aka, “Jane Doe”).
The product of a month-long investigation that took us to the site of the girl’s kidnapping in Waterbury, Connecticut, this information comes from confidential sources in multiple states. They have been pursuing the “Maria” story since the 1994 incident was first referenced in Johnson’s lawsuits. Johnson dropped the suit after she became the victim of physical threats by individuals who claimed to be Trump supporters, according to her account in court records.
The original tip came to WMR, which can report exclusively that a Waterbury girl, “Maria,” was the 12-year old alleged to have been a child rape victim of Donald Trump and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, shown at right. The crimes allegedly occurred at a midtown Manhattan mansion then owned by Epstein’s friend Les Wexner, a billionaire retailing mogul.
Maria was kidnapped on March 19, 1993, when she was 11-years old from the front of Nash’s Pizza in Waterbury. The girl’s kidnappers were involved in a child trafficking ring that provided abductees to wealthy individuals like Trump and Epstein in Manhattan, according to our information.
Regarding the 1993 kidnapping of Maria: The Waterbury Police Department has refused to provide us with a copy of the original police report on her abduction. It defers to Linda Wihbey, the city’s Corporation Counsel.
On December 12, 2017, Wihbey made her views known in a phone call with Andrew Kreig of JIP, as Wayne Madsen listened. She said that she was ready to “welcome us to Waterbury” until she decided that our investigation was “hostile” to her and Waterbury’s interests. These suffered greatly some 17 years ago over a high-profile pedophilia incident involving the city’s Republican mayor.
Waterbury’s stance emerged from our request for the 1993 police report on Maria’s abduction, including any relevant witness statements provided to the police.
Things Seemed ‘Strange’
In 1993, Maria lived with her mother and nine siblings in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in Waterbury, which is nicknamed “The Brass City” for its once-booming brass and clock factories. It is now suffering from urban blight, like many New England cities with abandoned factories.
Maria, whose father died in 1991, was reportedly abducted just moments after her mother entered the pizzeria while asking Maria to wait outside. The precise circumstances are among the secrets that police are withholding, thus limiting news coverage. The mother died in 2015.
One resident of the kidnapped girl’s close-knit neighborhood told us that the circumstances always seemed strange to the family and neighbors, and yet almost no police or other interest has been apparent for many years. Our source also stated that Maria’s mother always felt that her daughter was alive and, at one time, was in New York City. Another source in Waterbury said that it was the belief by many neighborhood residents at the time of Maria’s abduction that she was kidnapped by a ring operating out of New York. “Those who took her [Maria] were not from Waterbury,” said one longtime Puerto Rican resident familiar with the case.
In the interest of responsible journalism, we are withholding Maria’s actual full name. A June 25, 2010 paper, titled “Protecting victims’ identities in press coverage of child victimization,” which was published by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, spells out the concerns of releasing the identities of child sex victims without prior precautions being taken. The authors of the paper contend, “When the names of child victims and other identifying information appear in the media it can exacerbate trauma, complicate recovery, discourage future disclosures and inhibit cooperation with authorities for the children involved.”
Maria is still listed as a “missing person” by the Waterbury Police Department. The police missing person notification states that Maria was last seen at the corner of Walnut Street and Walnut Avenue at Nash’s Pizza. It adds that the girl “was 11-years-old when she went missing.”
Here is a development that proved startling in Maria’s neighborhood, including to at least one family member: She is alive.
Maria has been avoiding any public limelight since the Trump Organization discovered her actual identity, according to our sources. During the 2016 presidential campaign, there was some interest in the Maria story by major corporate media outlets, but they were intimidated by Trump Organization legal threats.
The incident helps illustrate the institutional cowardice and greed of many of the major news organizations and the danger that unprotected whistleblower/victims face when they share their stories with such journalists. Although the initial reporters and producers are usually very well-intentioned they work for conglomerates whose top executives realize that it’s typically safer not to antagonize the power structure.
That would be in this case a litigious billionaire Trump, who now influences, if not controls, a vast “law enforcement,” national security and broadcast federal regulatory apparatus.
The federal government delivers (or withholds) merger and tax fcc logoapprovals, for example, scrutiny over a host of other legal and regulatory issues, plus discretionary grants that can be vital to local authorities, particularly those with financial struggles like Waterbury. Beyond that, monied interests in the power structure have fostered private goons and trolls — sometimes equipped with the trappings of legitimate law enforcement or journalism — who can seek out whistleblowers, victims and reporters alike to set them up for vicious legal or extra-legal reprisals.
In the case of Katie Johnson, she alleged in lawsuits filed in federal courts first in California and then in New York that Trump knew that she was 13-years old when he assaulted and raped her in 1993. Johnson said that it was Trump who initiated contact with her at four different parties at Epstein’s residence in Manhattan. The mansion, shown below in a photo via Google Maps, was owned by the billionaire retailing magnate Les Wexner, who controls such companies as Victoria’s Secret.
Here is Johnson’s account, taken from her most recent lawsuit filed in Manhattan’s federal court:
She said that she was inveigled into the “party” scene after she was approached by an Epstein party “recruiter” while she was at the New York-New Jersey Port Authority Bus Terminal on 42nd Street in Manhattan. The recruiter suggested that she might become a model if she met the right people at a fashionable party. That was a typical approach used by Epstein’s recruiters, who leveraged his high-level contacts with fashion, modeling, photography, travel, political and entertainment figures to entice girls, tweens and teens, according to court records.
The Johnson lawsuit states that at their fourth encounter at an Epstein party: “Defendant Trump tied Plaintiff to a bed, exposed himself to Plaintiff, and then proceeded to forcibly rape Plaintiff. During the course of this savage sexual attack, Plaintiff loudly pleaded with Defendant Trump to stop but with no effect. Defendant Trump responded to Plaintiff’s pleas by violently striking Plaintiff in the face with his open hand and screaming that he would do whatever he wanted.”
Katie Johnson claimed that at two parties Epstein raped her once after she had been raped by Trump. During the second encounter with Epstein, Johnson stated that Epstein raped her “anally and vaginally despite her loud pleas to stop.” She stated that Epstein attempted to strike her on the head “with his closed fists,” while he angrily screamed that he [Epstein], rather than Trump, should have been the one who took the girl’s virginity.
According to the suit, Trump told Johnson that if she ever revealed the sexual encounter with Trump, the girl and her family would be “physically harmed if not killed.” Johnson also stated that Epstein periodically reiterated to her Trump’s earlier threat that if she were to “reveal any of the details of his sexual and physical abuse of her or else,” she and her family would be “seriously physically harmed, if not killed.”
Trump Fights Back: All ‘Lies’ and Fake News, He Says
Trump and his representatives have repeatedly insisted that any woman who alleges that he harassed or sexually assaulted her is lying. The Washington Post, among other outlets, reported that stance in All of the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying, the White House says, a story published on Oct. 26, 2017.
After filing her first complaint against Epstein and Trump in California on April 26, 2016, Johnson said that she began receiving threatening phone calls on her cell phone from blocked numbers. She refiled in New York. A courtroom hearing was scheduled for mid-December 2016 in federal court for the Southern District of Manhattan. U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams [pictured at right] said that she was requiring Epstein and Trump to appear before her in the Johnson lawsuit, an unusual requirement for a pre-trial hearing, especially in a civil case. Because of the threats, Johnson pulled her lawsuit just prior to the 2016 presidential election and no hearing occurred.
There are many pundits who will say from their comfortable perches that the withdrawal of this and similar lawsuits means there is nothing further to examine, especially if any flaw can be found or alleged involving the personality of a plaintiff, the supporting witnesses or lawyers. But that blame-the-victim conventional wisdom is being upended by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements — and is especially wrong-headed in this case for several important reasons.
First, there is substantial evidence that Epstein and Trump are notorious sexual predators and billionaire litigants who use threats and the legal system to their advantage. Epstein is a convicted pedophile who targeted junior high and high school girls, as described below. Epstein was required to register as a convicted sex offender [pictured at left]. Trump has long been notorious as a lecher, telling ABC’s “The View” in 2006, “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
More recently in November, The Washington Post published in “President Trump and accusations of sexual misconduct: The complete list extensive details of thirteen women (not including those alleging crimes only on social media or those like Katie Johnson who had withdrawn lawsuits) making accusations against him, along with names and details of corroborating witnesses. Wikipedia, under a heading Donald Trump sexual misconduct allegations, lists 15 claims as of this writing.
After underage sexual abuse allegations began surfacing during the failed campaign of GOP Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, Ivanka Trump said of Moore, “there’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. She added, “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ account.” Bannon, who supported Moore’s campaign, replied to Trump’s daughter in a December 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, “What about the allegations about her dad and that 13-year-old?” Bannon was referring, of course, to Katie Johnson.
Second, the vulnerability of sex abuse victims in their early teens from poor families requires special attention. Nowhere is that more poignant than in the case of the girl “Maria.” Police reports say that she was kidnapped at age 11 from her own neighborhood and, to all outward appearances, then disappeared off the face of the earth. In sum, the track record and power of these two particular defendants requires a deeper look at the allegations, particularly in light of the lessons learned from the #MeToo harassment and assault revelations this past fall regarding other powerful predators.
A Deeper Look
So, we return to the allegations in the “Jane Doe” (aka Katie Johnson) lawsuit despite the practice of pundits, lawyers, trolls, fanatics and thugs, many well-paid or fanatically ideological, using their varied skills to claim that there’s nothing to see or know. You be the judge, based on these lawsuit claims:
On July 23, 2016, “Joan Doe,” a classmate of Johnson during the 1994-1995 school year, signed an affidavit avowing that Johnson had told her during the summer of 1994 about the sexual assaults by Epstein and Trump.
Another witness, “Tiffany Doe,” signed an affidavit in support of Johnson’s suit on June 18, 2016. Tiffany Doe stated that she had been hired in 1990 by Epstein when she was 22 to “provide entertainment” for his various “guests.” She further stated that Epstein hired her in 1991 as a “party planner” to, among other duties, entice “attractive adolescent women” to attend Epstein’s parties. Tiffany Doe stated that she personally witnessed Trump’s sexual assault and rape of Johnson during four encounters.
Johnson also stated in the suit that Trump told her that she “shouldn’t ever say anything if she didn’t want to disappear like Maria, a 12-year-old female that was forced to be involved in the third incident” with Trump. Johnson said she had not seen “Maria” after the third sexual encounter with Trump. Tiffany Doe said that she witnessed Johnson and 12-year old “Maria” perform oral sex on Trump.
Vendetta Against Puerto Rico?
There’s a larger story here. Trump’s psychopathy of disinterest in Puerto Rico and its post-Hurricane Maria problems may stem in part from Maria’s roots in Puerto Rico. Trump’s addled ego may have reacted when Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria. It could well have reminded him that a victim whom he knew as Maria knows details that could very well bring down him and his administration.
The Trump administration’s extreme disinterest in Puerto Rico’s recovery — especially in comparison to post-hurricane rescue efforts for continental U.S. sites this fall — has been reported by many news organizations, including last week, for example, in After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Faces Indifference. The national media reported it visually by showing his contemptuous hurling of paper towels to Islanders at a photo op soon after the disaster.
In terms of solving the 1993 kidnapping, Waterbury Corporate Counsel Wihbey did reveal to us that about four or five years ago — she said “around 2012 or 2013” — there was some interest by “law enforcement” and “a few journalists” in the Maria missing person police report from 1993. Wihbey told us that the case remains under “active” investigation even though it has been a dormant “cold case” for several years. Originally, spokespersons for Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick Jr. expressed no real opposition to releasing the police report, claiming that all that was needed was the chief’s concurrence.
Wihbey is pictured above at a Connecticut Freedom of Information hearing defending Waterbury’s insistence on retaining secret documents in another matter. It involved the details of a largely secret arrangement whereby Waterbury taxpayers paid former Republican Connecticut governor and ex-con John Rowland, a former Waterbury state assemblyman and congressman after he had been imprisoned on a federal political corruption charge in 2004.
Waterbury’s Democratic Mayor Neil O’Leary may continue to have good reason to be concerned about public interest in the abduction of Maria to provide sex for pedophiles like Trump and Epstein in New York.
O’Leary was the Waterbury police chief when now-imprisoned Republican Mayor Phil Giordano (nicknamed Neil O’Leary as chief “Pedo Phil”) was arrested by the FBI as part of their investigation of payoffs to the mayor by Mafia building contractors. During court-authorized wiretaps of Giordano’s phones, the FBI became aware that the mayor was paying a female Puerto Rican prostitute named Guitana (“Gigi”) Jones for sex with her 10-year old niece and 8-year old daughter. Giordano and Rowland were once close political allies and Rowland’s cozy relationship with Mayor O’Leary has raised eyebrows in Connecticut.
According to federal court records: The trysts between Mayor Giordano and the children took place over nine months in 2000 and 2001 in the mayor’s office, his official car, his home, a friend’s home, and his private law office. Giordano paid Jones $40 to $60 per visit. Giordano made special requests for the two girls on days when he knew they were off from school.
During 2000, Giordano, a former U.S. Marine and state assemblyman representing Waterbury, was the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate against then-Democrat Joe Lieberman. Giordano, married to an attractive heiress, also made no secret of his philip giordano mugshot 2desire to become the vice president of the United States. In 2003, Giordano was sentenced to 37 years in a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona after his conviction of violating the civil rights of the two female children, using interstate devices (cellphones) to arrange the meetings, and conspiring with Jones to supply the children for sexual purposes.
It is not known how long Giordano [pictured above right in police mug shot] was using his mayoralty and other political influence to arrange for sexual encounters with girls. In 1993, when Maria was abducted, Giordano had been a Republican state representative for Waterbury. Giordano’s mob-linked friend, Joseph Pontoriero, owner of Worth Construction Company, Inc. of Bethel, Connecticut, was also tied to a Mafia syndicate’s numerous concrete-pouring construction contracts in Manhattan and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Pontoriero provided Giordano with $8,300 in designer clothing and a $12,000 loan for a minivan in return for Waterbury contracting favors, federal authorities showed.
According to several major biographies, Trump grew his businesses while maintaining relationships with Mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno (shown at right), the Genovese family crime underboss, and Paul Castellano, chief of the Gambino family. The Genovese and Gambino organizations, named after leaders in their heyday, have historically been the most powerful and dangerous of the New York City metro region’s five Mafia families. The construction firms they controlled, including S & A Concrete, poured concrete for Manhattan’s Trump Tower, Trump Plaza, and other Trump building projects in New York and Atlantic City. Trump’s Atlantic City construction projects also involved Philadelphia and South Jersey Mafia chief Nick “Little Nicky” Scarfo, who was regarded as vengeful and murderous at a level reaching psychotic proportion.
Trump’s association with Mafia bosses resulted from intermediary services provided by the infamous mobbed-up lawyer Roy Cohn (shown at left), someone also known for his prurient sexual interests involving young men. Cohn, who represented leaders in both the Genovese and Gambino mobs, died in 1986 from complications from AIDS. Before that, however, as Trump’s business attorney, friend and mentor, Cohn made the right “introductions” for Trump in the organized crime underground of the New York City area, including Connecticut.
It is very likely that Trump’s focus on girls and young women involved compromising him with “favors” that were provided by mob elements in New York and elsewhere, such as Waterbury. And, considering Waterbury’s current obfuscation on providing official information on Maria’s abduction and Giordano’s mob ties and pedophile problems, concerned citizens might reasonably demand answers regarding basic information about the kidnapped girl — as well as how those secrets relate to the city’s troubled past and current politics.
In Waterbury, federal authorities broke up the massive corruption scheme and documented Giordano’s compulsive sex obsession with teens and pre-teens. Meanwhile, Waterbury authorities apparently proceeded in an oblivious manner that, in the most charitable interpretation, resembled the acumen of Inspector Clouseau in the movies.
Eventually, the Italian Mafia would introduce Trump to the even more nefarious Russian Jewish mob, which was nestled around Brighton Beach, also known as “Little Odessa,” in Brooklyn.
WMR has reported extensively that it was from these quarters that Trump would be introduced to the money-laundering services of shady Eastern European, mostly Jewish, gangsters. These included Felix Sater, David Bogatin, Vyachelsav Ivankov, and the most dangerous mobster of them all —Semion Mogilevich. These mobsters specialized in not only money laundering, but the other big threat to Trump’s presidency — sex trafficking, including of underage girls. WMR’s findings are summarized in a visual relationship chart of “Trump-Kushner-Sater-Manafort Global Syndicate Road Map” showing persons and entities that was first published last spring and is updated.
Helping to confirm the importance of this illicit network was former Trump Chief Strategist Steven Bannon’s remark quoted by author Michael Wolff in the Fire and Fury best-seller that Trump and his associates are highly vulnerable to money laundering charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe.
Epstein’s “Lolita Express”
Trump’s pedophile problems also extend to his Mar-a-Lago private estate and club in Palm Beach, Florida. In 2005, when a Florida mother accused Trump’s “good friend” Epstein with having her underage daughter “Mary” strip down and “massage” Epstein for $300, a barrage of subsequent civil lawsuits was brought against the billionaire investor, who started out his career as a seventh-grade teacher at the exclusive Dalton School in Manhattan from 1973 to 1975.
In a 2002 interview with New York Magazine, Trump said of his friend Epstein, “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Trump’s 15-year relationship with Epstein put the alleged rapes of Katie Johnson and Maria well within the timeframe of their friendship.
Palm Beach police detectives led by Det. Joe Recarey and the FBI built up a criminal case against Epstein that soon involved over 100 “Jane Does” who accused the Palm Beach resident Epstein, a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, with sexual assault.
One victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claimed that she was 15 when Epstein’s chief procurer of young girls, Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late newspaper press lord and Mossad operative Robert Maxwell, recruited her into “service” while she was a towel girl at Mar-a-Lago.
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell, 2001Giuffre said that the adjoining photo of her with Maxwell and Prince Andrew of Britain’s royal family when she was 17 illustrates the time when she was being trafficked. Epstein, Maxwell and Buckingham Palace denied improprieties, and Giuffre settled a lawsuit against Epstein.,
Some of the girls were 14-years-old at the time of Epstein’s alleged assaults at these venues: his Palm Beach El Brillo Way mansion (which is just a mile away from Mar-a-Lago), Epstein’s private Little Saint James Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, his private Boeing 737, and his huge ranch in New Mexico. The other “Jane Does” in the civil cases against Epstein were identified in court documents with the initials of “L.M.,” “E.W.,” and “M.J.”
The Sweetheart Deal Protecting Pervert Pedophiles
Under the Bush administration, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta arranged a sweetheart plea deal for Epstein, who pleaded guilty to state charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution. The billionaire pervert served merely 13 months of a nighttime-only sentence in a minimum-security wing of the Palm Beach County prison for his felony guilty plea of soliciting prostitution from a minor. The New York Post reported (Massage Maven out of prison) that Epstein was permitted to have a mistress whom Epstein had described as his “sex slave” visit him in jail 67 times.
Most shocking, Epstein was spared from any further Florida or federal charges. The non-prosecution agreement was approved by Acosta in coordination with Epstein’s high-powered legal team, which included Florida attorneys Jack Goldberger and Roy Black, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz and former President Clinton’s Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, who was dean of Pepperdine School of Law beginning in 2004.
And, in yet another free ride for those VIPs who were present at Epstein’s orgies with underage girls, Acosta’s plea deal stipulated that neither Florida nor the federal government would charge anyone else for having sex with underage females. Normally, sweetheart plea deals are to encourage small fry to rat out higher-ups, not to protect everyone except one miscreant receiving a slap on the wrists.
The honest police in West Palm Beach were so outraged by the sellout that they risked firing by anonymously posting on the web details (redacted to remove names) of the shocking specifics of Epstein’s crimes against the girls, who were primarily of junior high and high school age. WMR has inspected the court record in criminal and civil cases, and identified 104 separate “Jane Doe” victims of Epstein and his ring in one case alone.
Trump ultimately rewarded Acosta for his “deal” with Epstein by nominating him last year to become U.S. Secretary of Labor. Acosta was approved on a near-party line vote. Most Democrats were too timid to grill him on the Epstein plea deal. Republicans touted his Hispanic and “law enforcement” backgrounds. From this Trump post where Acosta serves as the supposed watchdog over the employment rights of workers, the Labor Secretary continues to serve as an ostensibly decent public servant and rare minority face in the Trump cabinet.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, with his hand on a Bible and surrounded by family members, is sworn into office by Vice President Michael Pence last year.
Let’s think about the high stakes involved and the apparent lack of sustained scrutiny and public disclosure despite the #MeToo movment.
In this instance, the trail of Trump’s and Epstein’s pedophile sexual assaults on young girls is a long one. It extends from the greater Palm Beach area in Florida to Manhattan and, we believe, at least as far north as Waterbury, Connecticut. In most instances, substantial evidence points to law enforcement investigations that have been stymied by government cover-ups, witness intimidation, and monetary pay-offs to victims.
And now there are two new factors: One is an array of zealots, trolls and thugs determined to attack vulnerable victims, particularly to protect President Trump, the leader of their alt-right movement. Also, we see that an entire U.S. territory, Puerto Rico, is suffering from continued storm damage, loss of life and lack of normal federal rescue efforts — and perhaps it’s at least in part because an addled but vengeful Trump conflates a 12-year old Puerto Rican girl whom he knew as Maria with the devastating hurricane of the same name.
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