By Lauren del Valle and Eric Levenson, CNN
Jeffrey Epstein’s former pilot testified in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial Tuesday that a who’s who of powerful men, including former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, flew aboard Epstein’s private plane.
The pilot, Larry Visoski, said he would typically be given notice if Clinton or high-profile passengers like him would be flying.
He recalled renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman flew to Michigan with Epstein for the Interlochen Center for the Arts summer camp. He said he remembered Prince Andrew, Maine Sen. George Mitchell, Ohio Sen. John Glenn and actor Kevin Spacey on flights.
He also said he’d fly Epstein to Columbus, Ohio, where Epstein also had property, to see billionaire businessman Les Wexner. Epstein referred to Wexner as his client but Visoski said he believed them to be friends as well.
None of the high profile passengers mentioned in Visoski’s testimony Tuesday are alleged to have committed any wrongdoing in relation to the ongoing trial. Clinton’s spokesman previously admitted to Clinton being aboard Epstein’s plane four times but said the former president knew nothing about Epstein’s “terrible crimes.”
“In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation,” Clinton spokesman Angel Urena said in 2019.
Visoski’s testimony came on the second day of Maxwell’s federal trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking. The trial is likely to provide a glimpse into the enigmatic life of Epstein and illuminate some of his connections to high-profile figures like Clinton, Trump, Bill Gates and Prince Andrew.
Maxwell, the British socialite and Epstein’s close confidante, was arrested a year later and has pleaded not guilty to six charges, including conspiracy and sex trafficking.
In opening statements Monday, prosecutors said Maxwell and Epstein created a “pyramid scheme of abuse” to lure underage girls into sexual relationships with Epstein. Her defense, meanwhile, said she was a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s actions and attacked the memories and motivations of the women who say they were sexually abused.
Pilot testifies he never saw any sexual activity
Visoski, the prosecution’s first witness, testified Monday and Tuesday about his experiences as Epstein’s pilot beginning in 1991.
He testified Maxwell frequently traveled on Epstein’s private jet between 1994 and 2004 and would often facilitate travel plans with Visoski for Epstein. Maxwell was Epstein’s “number two” and was his “go-to person to handle everything else that was not business related,” the pilot testified.
He described his memory of the pair’s relationship as more personal than business-like, but more “couple-ish” than actually romantic. He didn’t remember seeing them kiss or hold hands, he said.
Logging the names of all passengers on Epstein’s private flights was not a priority, but they tried their best to be accurate, Visoski said. For international flights, he had to report an accurate passenger log, he said. If he didn’t know a passenger’s name, he’d notate the passenger by their gender, he said.
Minor Victim-1, identified in court with the pseudonym “Jane,” testified after Visoski that she met Maxwell and Epstein as a 14-year-old, and described in graphic detail incidents of sexual abuse by Epstein that Maxwell would at times join in on, both in Palm Beach, Florida, and Manhattan, when she was 14, 15 and 16 years old.
On Tuesday, Visoski testified about his memories of Minor Victim-1, who said, as prosecutors have alleged, that she met Epstein and Maxwell at the prestigious arts camp where Epstein was a benefactor for years.
Visoski testified Epstein introduced him to “Jane” on his plane before it took off from Palm Beach sometime in the 1990s.
Visoski said he remembered she appeared at the time to be a “mature woman” with “piercing powder blue eyes.” However, he testified on cross examination that he couldn’t be sure she actually flew on the flight or who else was there, and Maxwell’s defense questioned whether “Jane” ever flew on Epstein’s planes.
“I can’t visualize her sitting in the passenger compartment like I would say President Clinton, it was so long ago,” he said.
Her true first name was notated on flight logs for three flights, but Visoski acknowledged on cross examination that Epstein had an assistant bearing the same first name and without a last name logged, he couldn’t he sure who it was.
When asked on cross examination, Visoski said he didn’t know the ages of passengers he flew but he never thought there to be underaged girls aboard as far as he could tell.
“I never saw any sexual activity, no,” Visoski testified. When asked if he’d seen sex acts with underaged girls he said, “Absolutely not.”
Visoski testified he never saw sex toys, used condoms or clothes strewn about in Epstein’s planes, nor any indication sexual activity took place on the planes.
The cockpit door would be closed during flight, but Epstein would sometimes introduce his guests to Visoski before takeoff, he testified. Epstein also invited the pilots to pass freely through the cabins to use the restroom or get coffee during flights, Visoski said. He also said he wasn’t instructed by anyone as to how he should interact with passengers or other staff members.
He said he kept passenger manifests and flight logs for every flight he flew and would drop off the records to Epstein’s office every so often without keeping copies for himself.
He’d give the records to an assistant but not typically Maxwell.
“Ms. Maxwell had nothing to do with the passenger manifests,” he said.
In addition, Visoski testified that Epstein paid for his two daughters’ education through college and gifted him acreage at the New Mexico ranch where Visoski built himself a home. The pilot noted that it was Epstein’s practice to pay for the schooling of all his employees’ children because he valued higher education. He also acknowledged signing a non-disclosure agreement as a part of his employment.
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