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Four Takeaways From the 8th Day of Ghislaine Maxwell’s Trial

The jury in Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial heard from four government witnesses on Wednesday, including one of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilots and the ex-boyfriend of one of Mr. Epstein’s accusers.

One more woman who alleges Ms. Maxwell groomed her for abuse by Mr. Epstein is expected to testify before the government rests its case this week.

The witnesses on Wednesday served to bolster the accounts of the government’s main witnesses so far — three women who have testified they were sexually abused by Mr. Epstein as teenagers with Ms. Maxwell’s help.

Prosecutors say Ms. Maxwell, 59, helped to recruit and groom teenage girls for sexual abuse by Mr. Epstein, the notorious sex offender and financier who was her longtime companion. Mr. Epstein died in jail in 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial; Ms. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty and denied the accusations.

The first witness to take the stand Wednesday was Janine Gill, the human resources director at former President Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, where Virginia Roberts — who is now called Virginia Giuffre and has been one of Mr. Epstein’s most outspoken accusers — has said she first met Ms. Maxwell.

Ms. Roberts has not testified at trial, but a former Epstein employee told the jury last week that he and Ms. Maxwell met her at the resort. Ms. Gill introduced evidence that Ms. Roberts’s father worked at the resort at around the time this encounter is said to have taken place.

The second witness testified only under his first name, Shawn. He told the jury that he had driven his ex-girlfriend, Carolyn — along with two other teenage girls he was dating — to Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach home regularly from around 2002 to 2004.

Carolyn, who testified this week using only her first name, told the jury that she began going to Mr. Epstein’s house to give him massages when she was 14, and that those encounters typically ended with a sexual act. She was paid for the massages, sometimes by Ms. Maxwell, she said.

Shawn said Carolyn left Mr. Epstein’s mansion with hundreds of dollars after each visit and said she told him about Ms. Maxwell. On cross-examination, he was pressed to explain why he had been unable to place Ms. Maxwell’s accent in his previous meetings with the government.

Another witness, Nicole Hesse, said she worked part-time for Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell at the Palm Beach house for about a year, from 2003 to 2004. She said that while she was almost never there at the same time as they were, she had instructions to take down phone calls that came in, on a message pad near the telephone.

Some of those messages were introduced as evidence, including several in which “Carolyn” called.

The day’s fourth witness, David Rodgers, was the second of Mr. Epstein’s former pilots to testify at Ms. Maxwell’s trial. He walked the jury through flight logs of Mr. Epstein’s private aircraft from 1996 to 2001, showing that he flew Mr. Epstein and others between Mr. Epstein’s various homes and other locations.

Ms. Maxwell was on many of those flights, Mr. Rodgers testified, sometimes along with Ms. Roberts. Sometimes, Ms. Roberts flew with Mr. Epstein alone, the passenger logs showed. Some passengers were marked in the book simply as “one female” or “two females” — annotations that Mr. Rodgers said meant he had not been told their names.

Mr. Rodgers also testified that he flew a passenger identified as “Jane” — who testified last week that she was abused by Mr. Epstein starting when she was 14. Jane was recorded flying with Mr. Rodgers in 1996, when she would have been about 16, and in 1997, 1998 and 2001, the logs showed.

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