One of the pilots who flew late convicted pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets to and from Long Island airports 50 times over a two-decade span witnessed sex trafficking victims aboard unspecified flights, records show.
Details of the multimillionaire alleged sex trafficker’s local stops emerged from flight records reviewed by the Press and the recent Manhattan federal court trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, Expstein’s ex-girlfriend. The British socialite is appealing her Dec. 29 conviction on five counts of sex trafficking and other charges related to recruiting and grooming teenage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Among those listed in manifests for Epstein’s aircraft — including the infamous jet dubbed the “Lolita Express,” a Boeing 727-31 reportedly decked out in red velvet reclining seats and beds on which Epstein’s victims have alleged he abused them mid-flight — were pilot Lawrence Visoski, the prosecution’s first witness at Maxwell’s trial.
Visoski told jurors that he recalled the “piercing powder blue eyes” of a victim — one of four who took the stand — dubbed Jane who later testified that she had sexual contact with Epstein multiple times when she was 14 years old, sometimes with Maxwell in the room.
Epstein, a 66-year-old registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in Florida to soliciting prostitution from minor girls, died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019, authorities said, while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges for allegedly abusing dozens of girls over the years. Epstein’s many high-powered friends over the years have included former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton as well as Prince Andrew, who was recently stripped of his military title amid pending lawsuits from Epstein’s alleged victims.
Details of Epstein’s trips to LI were scarce, but the records show the region was among his many stops on his international travels as he flew with companions between New York, Florida and overseas, as he had homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Six of the 50 flights were to or from the Virgin Islands, where Epstein’s so-called “Pedophile Island” is located. None of those who traveled with Epstein to LI have been accused of crimes.
Flight logs show passengers on Epstein’s flights to and from LI included Gerald Lefcourt, a lawyer who negotiated Epstein’s 2008 agreement with prosecutors that hid from Epstein’s victims a non-prosecution agreement. After Epstein was rearrested, Lefcourt told the Associated Press that he “would never have signed the agreement or recommended it unless we believed that it resolved what it said: all federal and state criminal liability.”
Also listed in Epstein’s flight manifests was Celina Midelfart, a Norwegian cosmetics heiress whose attorney issued a statement that denied Midelfart was Epstein’s ex-girlfriend after Maxwell’s former executive assistant testified that she believed the pedophile dated the heiress behind the socialite’s back. A representative for Midelfart, who has not been accused of involvement in Epstein’s alleged scheme, did not respond to a request for comment.
The flight documents additionally showed a passenger of Epstein’s on a trip to LI was his science advisor, neurosurgeon Melanie Walker, who reportedly helped introduce Epstein to Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the world’s fifth-richest man. Dr. Walker is married to a former Microsoft executive and is reported to have helped introduce Epstein to Gates in 2011. Walker and another person close to Gates “at times functioned as intermediaries between the two men,” The New York Times reported. The Daily Beast cited an anonymous source as saying that “she did not attend nor help set up any meetings between Gates and Epstein.”
Walker, who has not been accused of involvement in Epstein’s alleged trafficking, could not be reached for comment. Gates told Anderson Cooper last summer that his meetings with Epstein were a “mistake.” Gates’ wife Melinda, who ended their 27-year marriage last year, was widely quoted as saying she was concerned about her ex-husband’s relationship with Epstein.
Records of the trips were found in a Business Insider database containing thousands of Epstein’s flight logs. In November, the Federal Aviation Administration accidentally sent another 2,000 flight logs to the publication in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that the FAA had previously denied. It is unclear if the LI flights were among the new or previously disclosed logs.
The flights are not Epstein’s only local ties. As the Press has reported, Richard Kahn, an accountant with a home in Water Mill who is an executor of Epstein’s $634 million estate, has been accused of helping Epstein run the alleged international sex trafficking ring. The attorney general for the U.S. Virgin Islands filed papers last year in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands naming Kahn and Epstein estate co-executor Darren Indyke, an attorney and Glen Cove native, with being “indispensable captains” in the scheme. The duo have denied the accusations.
Lawyers for Maxwell, who argued she is being scapegoated for crimes Epstein committed, requested a new trial after a juror in the case told reporters that he shared his experience of being sexually abused as a child during deliberations, and that his account helped sway jurors who were skeptical of Maxwell’s accusers. Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison when she is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan.