Maria Farmer has made allegations that Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell abused her and her younger sister Amy, who was 16 years old at the time, in the 1990s. Ms Farmer is thought to be the first victim to report Epstein’s sex crimes to law enforcement. She worked as an artist and receptionist at Epstein’s home in New York in 1996.
She told The Sun that built into the basement of Epstein’s Zorro Ranch were multiple surveillance rooms.
“All of Epstein’s residences had these mechanical rooms and tunnel systems ... I know this because Epstein told me,” she told the paper. “These rooms were enormous – bigger than houses. I have no idea why anyone needs so many computers in one room ... There were pinhole cameras to record everything on every estate. The cameras were ubiquitous. You couldn’t see them unless they were pointed out to you.”
Epstein was reportedly thinking about using the ranch to impregnate dozens of women to spread his DNA, The New York Times wrote in 2019.
Eddy Aragon, a local radio station owner, got ahold of architectural plans for the 33,339 square foot (3097 square metres) dating back to 1998, fives years after it was bought by Epstein.
The Sun reported that the underground floor measures 8,000 square feet (743 square metres) and has rooms for working out, getting a massage, as well as a jacuzzi area that later made way for a pool. The plans also show three “mechanical rooms”. Ms Farmer, 51, said these areas were where Epstein’s and Maxwell’s computers and video gear were stored.
Mr Aragon spoke to the architect of the ranch and a former IT contractor who worked on Epstein’s internet systems between 1999 and 2007.
“The architect called into my radio show and had been sitting on these plans for some time,” Mr Aragon told The Sun.“These plans give us a firmer idea of what was going on at the ranch.”
“Although the house is for sale, the brokers won’t talk to you about the ranch without you being a qualified party, which means you have to be someone with money, who can prove they can buy it in cash, that’s the only way to view the place,” he added.
“All of that in the basement feels more like a dungeon with the nebulous mechanical rooms,” he said. “A six-foot by six-foot oversized portrait of Ghislaine Maxwell, with her legs fully spread, completely naked, and a golden dagger in her right hand, was dead centre in the elevator hall of the basement.”
“I think that was used to intimidate the young women, who were there alone and isolated,” he added. “The contractor who supplied the photographs stated that he can’t ever get the image out of his mind, and it is one of the most bizarre things that he’s ever seen.”
Ms Maxwell was arrested in July of last year and is awaiting trial on six charges, such as sex trafficking conspiracy and trafficking of a minor. She has strongly denied any wrongdoing.
The ranch has been empty since Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019. It’s on the market for $27.5m. Despite its huge size, the property only includes four bedrooms.
“If you have 33,000 square feet of space, you would have, say, 12 bedrooms, especially when you hear about Jeffrey Epstein talk about a baby-making ranch. What is strange is that this wasn’t built for that purpose,” Mr Aragon told The Sun.
“Every room, from a closet to a toilet to a bathroom, on the second floor seems to have a ‘vestibule’. Were these holding areas? Do the women bathe, then dress and get held up in the vestibule, before they visit Epstein?”
“The maze of rooms, doors, vestibules, waiting areas and doors, there’s no doubt [they] were used to maximum effect to trap and contain the victims until they were needed for Epstein’s rituals,” he added. “There appears to be no escape, can you imagine how that would feel for young teenage girls? They must have felt so hopeless and vulnerable.”