Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested for her alleged part in Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. She is accused of the most heinous crimes, but she will be fighting them tooth and nail with a highly paid legal team.
On Tuesday, Larry Visoski, Jeffrey Epstein’s former pilot, came in Manhattan Federal District Court to resume his evidence. At Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, he was the first witness to testify. Credit… The New York Times’ Dave Sanders
One of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilots testified Tuesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan that when he rode on one of his private aircraft, the cockpit door was always closed during flight, making it difficult to observe what was going on in the passenger area.
Prosecutors introduced Larry Visoski, a nearly 30-year employee of Mr. Epstein, as the first witness in the sex-trafficking prosecution of Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s longtime lover.
Mr. Visoski’s evidence, which started late Monday afternoon, was used by federal prosecutors in Manhattan to introduce images and details of Mr. Epstein’s multiple homes and private jets. Mr. Epstein was known to fly with major politicians and Hollywood celebrities, as well as young women — even girls, according to some allegations — to amuse visitors on board, and the aircraft have long been a subject of public intrigue and mythology.
On Tuesday, during cross-examination, a lawyer for Ms. Maxwell, Christian Everdell, questioned Mr. Visoski whether he recalled flying “quite big folks,” mentioning Bill Clinton, Donald J. Trump, Prince Andrew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and actor Kevin Spacey, among others. Mr. Visoski said he remembers traveling with everyone except Mr. Kennedy and that he had no recollection of flying Mr. Trump’s family.
Mr. Visoski said that when he initially started working for Mr. Epstein in 1991, the financier had a Gulfstream jet with leather seats and a burgundy carpet. Mr. Visoski said that the cockpit was divided by a door that was always shut.
Mr. Epstein purchased a Boeing 727 in 2001, a bigger plane with various compartments, including a complete kitchen and “the Round Room,” which contained a doughnut-shaped sofa, according to Mr. Visoski.
Mr. Visoski stated the cockpit door was always shut there as well.
As passengers boarded the aircraft, Mr. Epstein would occasionally introduce him to them. Mr. Epstein also brought into the cockpit a young lady named Jane, who was recognized in court as a singer. “A mature lady, with piercing, powder blue eyes,” Mr. Visoski said.
Jane has been named as one of Mr. Maxwell’s teenage accusers by prosecutors. Jurors were given a copy of her birth certificate, since she is expected to testify during the trial.
Mr. Visoski affirmed that he could see people boarding flights during cross-examination by Mr. Everdell. He claimed that young females traveling with their families were occasionally among them, but that he had not seen any unattended young ladies under the age of 20.
Mr. Visoski informed Mr. Everdell that during the flights, he “never witnessed any sexual conduct.” “I absolutely did not see sex acts with minor females,” Mr. Visoski answered when asked whether he had ever seen sex acts with underage girls.
He further said that Mr. Epstein did not need them to shut the cockpit door, and that he had welcomed them to go to the rear of the plane if they needed to use the lavatory, for example.
Mr. Visoski drew laughter from the courtroom when he responded, “Like right now.”
Mr. Visoski was questioned during his cross-examination what type of prior knowledge he had about Mr. Epstein’s passengers, specifically whether they had privacy or security concerns. Mr. Everdell inquired about Mr. Clinton in particular. “You could be informed that information in advance if he’s going to be on the aircraft,” Mr. Everdell added. “I’m sure you’d want to make the aircraft look beautiful.”
Mr. Visoski said, “Yes.”
Rebecca Davis O’Brien (Rebecca Davis O’Brien)
On Monday, members of the media and onlookers flocked to the federal courtroom in Lower Manhattan to see Ghislaine Maxwell’s highly anticipated trial. Credit… The New York Times’ Dave Sanders
Ghislaine Maxwell, the woman accused of helping Jeffrey Epstein recruit, groom, and exploit underage girls, went on trial in Manhattan on Monday, more than two years after he was found dead in a prison cell a month after his arrest on sex-trafficking charges.
A federal prosecutor, Lara Pomerantz, told the jury that Ms. Maxwell and Mr. Epstein were “partners in crime.” According to the prosecution, Ms. Maxwell sexually abused young girls by building their trust, helping to normalize abusive sexual behaviour, and then “serving them up” to Mr. Epstein in a decade-long conspiracy.
In Federal District Court, Ms. Pomerantz said, “The defendant and Epstein persuaded young girls feel that their fantasies may come true.” “They tried to make them feel special, but it was all a ruse.”
“The defendant and Epstein were conducting horrible acts behind closed doors,” Ms. Pomerantz added. They were assaulting adolescent females sexually.”
The trial of Ms. Maxwell, 59, the daughter of a British media magnate and a longstanding fixture on the New York social scene, has been largely seen as the courtroom reckoning Mr. Epstein eluded when he committed himself in jail.
Mr. Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on accusations that he paid dozens of females hundreds of dollars in cash for engaging in sex acts with him at his home in Palm Beach, Fla., and his mansion in Manhattan, according to a federal indictment. The next month, he passed away.
Ms. Maxwell, who was detained in July 2020, is accused of sex trafficking, luring and transporting kids to participate in illicit sex acts, and three counts of conspiracy. If convicted on all charges, she may face a sentence of up to 70 years in jail.
Her lawyer, Bobbi C. Sternheim, informed the jury that the evidence would not support the allegations against her client, and she has maintained her innocence. She said that Ms. Maxwell’s accusers’ recollections were skewed and distorted by “continuous media stories.”
She also called Ms. Maxwell a “scapegoat” for Mr. Epstein’s activities, saying, “Women have been blamed for men’s poor behavior since Eve was accused of enticing Adam with the fruit.”
— Rebecca Davis O’Brien and Benjamin Weiser
Sarah Ransome, who filed a civil case accusing Jeffrey Epstein of sexual assault, arrives at the federal courtroom in Manhattan where Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s former lover, is on trial. Credit… The New York Times’ Dave Sanders
On Monday, Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s former love companion and employee, began her sex-trafficking trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, with opening comments and evidence from one of Mr. Epstein’s private jet pilots.
In the following weeks, jurors will hear from four women who prosecutors claim were assaulted by Mr. Epstein as teens.
Ms. Maxwell, the daughter of a British media billionaire, is charged with six charges resulting from her participation in the sexual exploitation of the women, according to prosecutors. Enticing a juvenile to travel with the aim to engage in criminal sexual behavior and transferring a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity are among the allegations.
The following are some key points from the first day of the trial:
Jane, who was 14 when she met Mr. Epstein, will tell her tale to the jury.
A prosecution sketched out the account of one complainant, known to only by her first name, Jane, in detailing how evidence would establish that Ms. Maxwell helped Mr. Epstein traffic and sexually assault adolescent females.
Jane first met Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell in 1994, according to the prosecutor, Lara Pomerantz: “an apparently benign meeting that started at a picnic table with the revelation that the two adults and the young girl all resided in Palm Beach, Florida.” Jane gave her phone number at the conclusion of the conversation.
Ms. Pomerantz described it as the “start of a nightmare that would linger for years.” Ms. Maxwell, she said, used shopping excursions to gain Jane’s confidence and “helped normalize abusive sexual activity” by Mr. Epstein.
According to the prosecution, the jury will hear directly from Jane and three other women who had similar experiences as adolescent girls.
The defense will attempt to establish that the recollections of the four accusers are faulty.
A defense lawyer, Bobbi C. Sternheim, told jurors a few minutes later that memories from witnesses like Jane, who are likely to testify under oath regarding Mr. Epstein’s abuse, were unreliable.
She said the accusers’ recollections were “unreliable and dubious,” and that they may have been “corrupted” or “polluted” by “continuous media reporting” over time. She also implied that the accusers were driven by a desire to earn “a massive jackpot of money” from a potential civil suit against Mr. Epstein’s estate.
She told jurors, “Each accuser’s tale is thin.” “Lawyers, the media, things they’ve read and heard, and money, enormous money, have all had an influence on them.”
Another defensive technique is to point the finger onto Mr. Epstein.
Ms. Sternheim portrayed Ms. Maxwell as a “scapegoat” who is only on trial because Mr. Epstein committed himself in a federal prison. For many individuals, she told jurors, the suicide left “a gaping void in the search of justice.” Ms. Maxwell is “filling that void,” according to Ms. Sternheim. “I’m going to fill that vacant chair.”
“Women have been blamed for men’s poor conduct ever since Eve was accused of enticing Adam with the fruit,” she remarked.
One of Mr. Epstein’s pilots was utilized by the prosecution to establish the scene for jurors.
Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr., a private pilot who flew for Mr. Epstein from 1991 to 2019, was called as the first witness for the prosecution.
Mr. Visoski portrayed Ms. Maxwell’s involvement in managing Mr. Epstein’s houses and properties in broad strokes, characterizing their connection as “couple-ish.” Mr. Visoski also detailed ferrying Mr. Epstein and his visitors to numerous luxury houses in New York City, Paris, the US Virgin Islands, Palm Beach, Fla., and Santa Fe, N.M., using pictures as proof.
“We were on the road pretty much every four days flying someplace,” he added. Mr. Visoski said that he didn’t always know who was traveling with Mr. Epstein on his aircraft.
Demonstrators outside federal court in Manhattan, where Ghislaine Maxwell’s bail hearing was conducted by video in July. Credit… Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews
The sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s former lover and longterm collaborator, is due to start on Monday. The following are some of the events that lead up to the much-anticipated trial:
7th of July, 2019
Mr. Epstein was apprehended in Teterboro, New Jersey.
Mr. Epstein was charged by federal authorities of participating in unlawful sex activities with kids and women as young as 14.
10th of August, 2019
In his Manhattan detention cell, Mr. Epstein committed himself.
Mr. Epstein committed himself in his Metropolitan Correctional Center detention cell; he was not on suicide watch at the time. On federal sex trafficking allegations, he had just been refused bail.
The deadline is March 2020.
Ms. Maxwell filed a lawsuit against Mr. Epstein’s estate.
Mr. Epstein and Darren Indyke, Mr. Epstein’s longtime lawyer and the executor of his estate, both pledged to pay Ms. Maxwell’s legal bills, according to the complaint, but she claims they haven’t. As other women alleged she assisted Mr. Epstein in recruiting them for sexual activities while they were under the age of 18, her legal expenses grew.
Ms. Maxwell was apprehended in the state of New Hampshire.
Ms. Maxwell allegedly recruited three underage victims for unlawful sexual behavior between 1994 and 1997, according to the indictment.
Ms. Maxwell has requested a bail of $5 million.
Her attorneys urged a federal court in Manhattan to set a $5 million bail for her release. Prosecutors stated that Ms. Maxwell presented a significant danger of escaping before her trial, therefore Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan dismissed the motion.
In December of 2020,
Ms. Maxwell describes prison as “oppressive.”
Ms. Maxwell requested her release once again, this time on a $28.5 million bail, claiming that her Brooklyn prison circumstances were “oppressive.” Prosecutors stated the chances of her fleeing were exceedingly high, thus the request was refused once again. Prosecutors also claimed that her detention circumstances were fair, citing her own shower, phone, and two laptops as examples.
March of the year 2021
Ms. Maxwell is accused of trafficking a 14-year-old girl.
Ms. Maxwell is now accused of grooming a second juvenile, according to a new indictment. She’s accused of sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl who had sexual encounters with Mr. Epstein at his Palm Beach, Fla., mansion.
Ms. Maxwell will be put on trial.
The date for the first day of arguments has been scheduled for Monday.
In July 2020, Audrey Strauss, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the accusations against Ghislaine Maxwell. Credit… Getty Images/Jonathan Eisele/Agence France-Presse
In her federal trial, Ghislaine Maxwell is charged with six counts of facilitating the sexual exploitation of minors for her longtime partner, infamous millionaire and sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein.
The six charges are based on four accusers’ testimony. The following are the charges:
Ms. Maxwell is accused of coercing one girl — known as Minor Victim 1 in charge papers — to travel from Florida to New York between 1994 and 1997 to participate in sex activities with Mr. Epstein on one count of solicitation of a minor to travel to engage in criminal sex acts.
Ms. Maxwell is accused of transporting the same girl from Florida to New York on many times, according to one allegation of transportation of a child with intent to engage in illicit sex acts.
Ms. Maxwell is charged with one count of sex trafficking of a child, alleging that between 2001 and 2004, she recruited, lured, and transported another girl, designated as Minor Victim 4, to participate in at least one commercial sex act with Mr. Epstein.
There are another three conspiracy charges, which are linked to the other counts. The indictment’s conspiracy charges are more extensive, encompassing all four accused as well as residences in the United States and London. These allegations allege that Ms. Maxwell collaborated with Mr. Epstein to recruit minor females for sex activities, such as persuading one to massage Mr. Epstein in London between 1994 and 1995.
If found guilty, Ms. Maxwell, 59, may face a significant jail sentence. Conspiracy to conduct underage sex trafficking has a potential penalty of 40 years; the other offenses have maximum sentences of five or ten years.
Ms. Maxwell was charged with two counts of perjury when she was arrested in July 2020, accusing her of lying under oath in 2016 during depositions for a case involving Mr. Epstein. Judge Alison J. Nathan allowed the defense plea to sever the perjury charges, which will be tried separately, in April.
Rebecca Davis O’Brien (Rebecca Davis O’Brien)