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Epstein pilot resumes testimony at Ghislaine Maxwell trial

The Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse where the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is being held on Nov. 29, 2021, in New York City. Maxwell, the daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell is on trial for sex trafficking. Maxwell is expected to challenge claims she groomed underage girls for deceased and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein for sexual abuse. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime pilot for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein resumed his testimony at Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial Tuesday, saying that the British socialite charged with helping the financier find teenage girls to sexually abuse was “Number 2” in the hierarchy of Epstein’s operations.

Lawrence Paul Visoski Jr. is the first witness in the sex trafficking trial of Maxwell, 59, a woman who traveled for decades in circles that put her in contact with accomplished and wealthy people before her July 2020 arrest.

Asked where Maxwell stood in the hierarchy of Epstein’s world, Visoski said Maxwell “was the Number 2.” He added that “Epstein was the big Number 1.”

The testimony supports what Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Pomerantz told jurors in her opening statement Monday when she said Epstein and Maxwell were “partners in crime.”

FACT FOCUS: Media not banned from Ghislaine Maxwell trial

Pomerantz said Maxwell recruited and groomed girls for Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to at least 2004.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty and her lawyer says she’s being made a scapegoat for Epstein’s bad behavior.

Visoski testified briefly on Monday before beginning Tuesday on the witness stand. Prosecutors have used his testimony to show jurors photographs of Epstein’s homes and properties.

Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial.

Maxwell has been held without bail since her arrest on charges alleging she recruited teenage girls for Epstein to abuse from 1994 to 1997. Earlier this year, the indictment against her was expanded to accuse her of continuing to aid Epstein’s sexual abuse of teenagers from 1997 to 2004.

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