The parents of Sarah Kellen, who is accused of being a "lieutenant" for Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, are worried that she may face prosecution next. Thomas and Mary Kellen, both devout Jehovah's Witnesses, said Kellen should be treated as a victim, not a co-conspirator because they believe Maxwell and Epstein manipulated her. Maxwell was arrested earlier this month for her alleged role in Epstein's child sex trafficking ring and is set to go to trial next year.
Kellen's parents told the Daily Mail they think Kellen will be arrested next. "What happened to all those girls is horrendous, but I do feel that Sarah was also a victim," Mary said, referring to Epstein's victims. "I'm not a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but I can see she was maneuvered or brainwashed." Mary said she hopes no one targets her daughter, noting there "are a lot of prominent, powerful people out there that don't want anything said."
Maxwell was arrested on July 2 at her New Hampshire mansion and has been charged with enticement of minors, sex trafficking of children, and perjury. She was in New York federal court Tuesday, where a judge denied bail and scheduled her trial for July 12, 2021. Maxwell's charges are tired to her alleged role in Epstein's sex trafficking operation between 1994 and 1997, when she allegedly "groomed" girls as young as 14 to be sexually abused by Epstein, a wealthy financier and her ex-boyfriend. Maxwell pleaded not guilty. Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial in August 2019.
Legal documents listed four other "potential co-conspirators" in the sex trafficking operation, including Kellen, notes the Daily Mail. Kellen, 41, was a personal assistant for Epstein and worked for him for about a decade. Her parents said they became estranged when she began working for Epstein at age 18 or 19. She was allegedly forced out of the family's church for nude modeling and other "immoral" activities after her marriage fell apart. Her parents have only seen her a few times in recent years.
"We are sticking up for her if that's what you want to call it because we still feel we know her better than anyone," Kellen's father Thomas told the Daily Mail. "I think she was manipulated by Epstein due to her age and the circumstances. In my opinion, she's a victim just as much as some of the others. She was told what to do and what to say. I feel she is still probably afraid to say anything - even now that he's gone."
Kellen met Epstein when she was 18 or 19. She had just broken up with a boyfriend who complained about her frequently traveling between Hawaii and the mainland U.S. "She just told us she was going to be a personal assistant to this investor," Mary recalled. "She would go get whatever was needed. She traveled with them. I know she was flying a lot because her husband served her divorce papers at the airport." Kellen's mother said she believed her daughter became vulnerable to influence at that time.
It is not clear when Kellen ended her working relationship with Epstein. She was seen walking with him in 2012 in Manhattan, but by then, Kellen was using the last name Kensington and began dating NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. In 2013, Kellen married Vickers. Kellen declined to be interviewed by the Mail, but her representative offered a statement saying she was "sexually and psychologically" abused by Epstein. "Epstein was known for manipulating his victims to further his abuse of others, and Sarah was no different," Kellen's rep said. "She continues to struggle with the trauma he inflicted upon her and so many other young women."