Ghislaine Maxwell sex-abuse trial resumes with Epstein pilot’s testimony

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Laura A. Meninger and Jeffrey S. Pagluka, part of Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense team, departs from the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse on November 29 in New York City.David De Delgado / Getty Images

Ghislaine Maxwell was “number two” in the hierarchy of Jeffrey Epstein’s employees, a former longtime pilot for the deceased financier testified Tuesday at Maxwell’s sex-abuse trial in Manhattan.

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Pilot Lawrence Wisoski, who is testifying for the government, recalled how Maxwell often contacted Epstein to schedule flights for him.

Prosecutors have accused Maxwell, who was also a lifelong intimate partner of Epstein, of recruiting and framing four underage girls to give Epstein erotic massages, “frauding” them to sexually assault them. Told.

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

Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of sex trafficking and other offences, including two charges of perjury, which will be tried at a later date. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 80 years in prison.

Maxwell’s lawyers have said the British socialite was being used as a scapegoat for the crimes committed by Epstein. Epstein died in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex-abuse charges.

Earlier on Tuesday, US District Judge Alison Nathan said she had waived a juror from the case after her husband surprised her with a planned visit around the Christmas break.

As a result, 12 jurors, instead of six, and five alternates, will continue to hear testimony in a possible six-week trial beginning Monday.

Wissowski’s testimony gave the remaining jurors a sense of Epstein’s lifestyle and that Maxwell lived between 1994 and 2004, the period in which prosecutors say Maxwell lured Epstein to abuse four underage girls. Had given.

Pilot said he frequently shuttles Epstein and guests between Epstein’s properties in New York, Florida, New Mexico, Paris and the Caribbean islands.

In her opening statement on Monday, Assistant US 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 Bobby Sternheim said on Monday that there was nothing wrong with owning a private jet.

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

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