As the state prepares to wrap up the presentation of its sex-trafficking case against Ghislaine Maxwell, prosecutors on Wednesday used documentation to place the accuser known as Jane on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane four times between 1996 and 2001. Defense again sought to distance Maxwell from Epstein, a convicted sex offender and her former boyfriend, for whom she is accused of helping to procure underage girls.
Prosecutor Maurene Comey questioned a second former pilot of Epstein’s, David Rodgers, who worked for Epstein for nearly 30 years between 1991 and 2019. Like fellow pilot Larry Visoski who testified as the state’s first witness, Rodgers described Maxwell as “number two” in the hierarchy of Epstein’s world. And he came with receipts. In addition to an official passenger manifest and an aircraft log, Rodgers kept a meticulous personal flight log of the more than 1,000 times he flew one of Epstein’s private planes.
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A heavily redacted version of the log was entered into public evidence, and the large black bar where passengers’ names would have been drew grumbles and hisses from some observers in the overflow courtroom, which hosts a mix of journalists and members of the public. During a consultation with lawyers, Judge Alison Nathan called the exhibit “overly redacted” and asked prosecutors to put in the “labor” in the coming days to do a more precise job, since counsel would be reading names aloud from the document anyway. Someone in the overflow room grumbled about Comey — who is the daughter of former FBI director James Comey — before cheering Nathan’s directive. Another observer muttered that the case had been “rigged” with people being paid off by “the cabal.”
After a lunch break, Comey displayed the liberally blacked-out version on a screen for jurors and the public, and spent about 30 minutes going through the details of more than 40 flights and the passenger names as Rodgers had recorded them — at least as they pertained to the state’s case. With Rodgers’ confirmation, Comey placed a passenger with Jane’s true first name on four interstate flights: One with Epstein and other passengers in 1996, which is when Rodgers said he remembered meeting her; a second in 1997 with Epstein, Maxwell, and what Comey described as a “number of other passengers”; one in 1998 with Epstein, Maxwell, and other passengers. In 2001, Jane’s true first and last name was on the list of passengers who flew from New Mexico to Palm Beach, along with Epstein, Maxwell, and public Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts — who Comey’s questioning placed on a total of 28 flights between 2000 and 2001 — among others.
During cross-examination, Rodgers sat stone-faced, answering questions from the defense’s Christian Everdell. Everdell suggested perhaps Rodgers had had daily interactions with Maxwell simply because handling the private planes was part of her job. “Mr. Epstein had lots of people helping him run his affairs day to day,” Everdell said. Rodgers affirmed this. Everdell also brought up Sarah Kellen’s growing role as an assistant to Epstein in the early 2000s as, he said, Maxwell’s role was shrinking; Rodgers confirmed that Kellen had made scheduling calls to his colleague Visoski around then. Rodgers also confirmed under questioning that he believed Maxwell had been in a new romantic relationship by 2004. Everdell described her as “separating from Epstein” around that time. The state’s case revolves around alleged crimes committed between 1994 and 2004.
Everdell named several passengers who had been listed on flights with Epstein in Rodgers’ log, from Itzhak Perlman, whom he referred to as a “famous violinist,” chef Adam Perry Lang, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Eva Dubin with her husband and children — one of whom Epstein was a godfather to — academics who Everdell specified have taught at Yale and MIT, lawyers and yoga instructors of Epstein’s, a professional massage therapist, and other friends, associates, and staff members. Shelley Lewis, a former romantic partner of Epstein’s, was on one flight Everdell brought up. Rodgers’ confirmed she’d spokenw ith a British accent. “Epstein flew around with a lot of women who had foreign accents, didn’t he?” Everdell said. Rodgers answered, “Yes.”
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