Maxwell was “number two” in Epstein’s hierarchy, says pilot in sexual abuse trial – .

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Maxwell was “number two” in Epstein’s hierarchy, says pilot in sexual abuse trial – .


NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (Reuters) – Ghislaine Maxwell was “number two” in the hierarchy of Jeffrey Epstein employees, a longtime former pilot for the financier who died in Maxwell’s Manhattan sex abuse trial testified Tuesday.

Pilot Lawrence Visoski, who testifies for the government, recalled that Maxwell often contacted him to schedule flights for Epstein.

Prosecutors charged Maxwell, who was also a former intimate partner of Epstein, with recruiting and preparing four underage girls to give Epstein erotic massages, describing them as a “ruse” for sexual abuse.

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“Ms. Maxwell was number two. Mr. Epstein was a big number one, ”Visoski told jurors. “She was the one who pretty much handled most of the finances, my expenses, my office expenses. “

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other crimes, including two counts of perjury which will be tried at a later date. She faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Maxwell’s lawyers have said the British socialite was the scapegoat for crimes committed by Epstein. Epstein died in prison in 2019 pending trial on sexual abuse charges.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said she excused a juror from the case because his wife surprised him with a trip planned around the Christmas vacation.

As a result, 12 jurors and five alternates, instead of six, will continue to hear testimony in the scheduled six-week trial, which began on Monday.

Visoski’s testimony gave the remaining jurors an idea of ​​the lifestyle Epstein and Maxwell lived between 1994 and 2004, during which time prosecutors say Maxwell lured four underage girls into Epstein to abuse Epstein. .

The pilot said he frequently shuttled Epstein and his guests between Epstein’s properties in New York City, Florida, New Mexico, Paris and the Caribbean islands.

In her opening statement on Monday, Assistant to the U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz said prosecutors would present flight logs that included the names of Maxwell and some of the alleged victims.

Maxwell’s defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim said on Monday that there was nothing inherently wrong with having private jets.

The jet-set’s lifestyle contrasts with Maxwell’s confinement since his July 2020 arrest at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, including his complaints about raw sewage entering his cell and being served moldy food.

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Report by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder, Sandra Maler and Mark Porter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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