Ghislaine Maxwell’s child sex trafficking trial enters its second day of testimony on Tuesday, with the longtime pilot of her alleged accomplice, financier Jeffrey Epstein, returning to the witness stand in Manhattan federal court.
Maxwell, 59, pleaded not guilty to six counts of allegedly procuring teenage girls for Epstein, some of whom were as young as 14.
Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr, who worked for Epstein from 1991 to 2019, began his testimony Monday afternoon. He testified that Maxwell was around 30 years old when he met her in 1991 and said that “we interacted quite often. She was on a lot of flights ”.
The pilot testified that Maxwell supervised Epstein’s households. Asked about the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein, he said: “I thought it was more personal than professional. “
The duo stayed close in the 2000s. Visoski said their relationship was not necessarily romantic, but was “a couple”. Visoski said he did not see them holding hands or kissing.
Visoski’s testimony came after the defense opening remarks. Maxwell’s lead attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, has presented the Briton as a scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes – going so far as to invoke the Bible.
“Ever since Eve was accused of tempting Adam for the apple, women have been blamed for men’s bad behavior and women are often more mean and punished than men ever are,” Sternheim explained. “The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell relate to acts committed by Jeffrey Epstein.
“But she’s not Jeffrey Epstein. She’s not like Jeffrey Epstein – and she’s unlike any of the other men, powerful men, tycoons, media giants, who abuse women.
Prior to Sternheim’s argument, prosecutor Lara Pomerantz argued that Maxwell was complicit in Epstein’s crimes, arguing, “She knew what was going to happen to these girls. “
Maxwell “preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them and served them to be sexually assaulted,” she said.
“The accused trafficked children for sexual purposes. “
Pomerantz continued, “Maxwell was Epstein’s best friend and right-hand man. She was involved in every detail of Epstein’s life. The accused and Epstein were partners in the crime.
Maxwell also faces two counts of allegedly lying under oath, on which she will be tried separately. These charges stem from the civil lawsuit of Epstein’s longtime accuser, Virginia Giuffre, against Maxwell.
Giuffre alleged that Maxwell and Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17. Giuffre filed a complaint against Maxwell, who called her a liar. Maxwell and the Duke of York insist on their innocence.
- In the United States, call or text the Childhelp Abuse Hotline at 800-422-4453. In the UK, the NSPCC offers assistance to children on 0800 1111 and adults affected by a child on 0808 800 5000. The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) offers assistance to adult survivors on 0808 801 0331. In Australia, children, young adults, parents and teachers can contact the Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800, or Bravehearts at 1800 272 831, and adult survivors can contact the Blue Knot Foundation at 1300 657 380. Other sources help can be found on Child Helplines International