Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty in recruiting and trading young girls for sexual abuse by late American financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Five of the six charges she was facing were thrown out. The most serious, sex trafficking minor, led to the conviction of the 60-year old.
A New York jury of 12 members deliberated for five full days before reaching a verdict.
The British socialite may spend the remainder of her life in prison.
Maxwell didn’t show any emotion when the verdict was announced on Wednesday. She only poured herself one glass of water, which she then drank twice.
Soon after her verdict was rendered, her legal team announced that they were working on an appeal.
Teresa Helm was one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers. She praised the testimony by the women during the trial.
She stated to the BBC that justice is the leader today. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to every courageous, brave and justice-driven person who fought for this result.
Ghislaine Maxwell won’t have another chance to accept anything. “She will live on the other side” of freedom.
Maxwell was convicted of:
- Sex trafficking with a minor can result in up to 40 years imprisonment
- Transportation of a minor in the intention to engage or commit criminal sexual activity is a crime that carries a minimum sentence of 10 year.
- Conspiracy to transport minors in order to engage criminal sexual activity is a crime that carries a maximum five-year sentence
- The maximum sentence for conspiracy to incite minors into engaging in illegal sexual acts is five years.
- The maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit minor sex trafficking is five years.
One count of her guilt was not proven – Enticement for a Minor to Travel to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts.
US Attorney Damian Williams was happy with the verdict, and appreciated the courage of the victims.
According to the statement, “A unanimous jury found Ghislaine maxwell guilty of one the most grave crimes ever committed – facilitating and participating with the sexual abuses of children.”
You have nowhere to run
Ghislaine Maxwell was my first encounter. I followed her down Manhattan’s streets from her brownstone, and asked her about her horrific accusations.
I finally saw her in court a decade later and was unable to hide the truth concerning her marriage with Jeffrey Epstein.
These two powerful men were in it for their sick pleasure, not to make a profit.
They were well-connected in social circles, and frequently referred to friends at high levels such as Bill Clinton or Donald Trump. They lured their victims with gifts and promised to improve their education and careers.
Prosecutors stated that Maxwell was involved in the “grooming of” teenage girls as a part of his “playbook”.
The duo’s jaw-dropping connections and wealth were key too. They intimidated and silenced victims, and kept them away from the public eye.
Maxwell is a long-time friend of Epstein who was convicted as a child sex offender. She has been held in prison since last July.
Epstein, who was awaiting trial for sex-trafficking charges, took his own life.
- PROFILE: Ghislaine’s descent: The Story of Ghislaine Maxiwell
- ANALYSIS: Maxwell was brought down by the shocking testimony
She is believed to be a well-connected socialite who introduced Epstein at large to powerful and wealthy figures such as Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton.
Maxwell’s attorneys argued she was an escapee for Epstein’s crimes during the one-month trial. Prosecutors sought to connect the two as “partners of crime” and ran a “pyramid program of abuse.”
The trial saw four women take the stand. Four women testified at the trial that Epstein had sexually assaulted them before they reached 18 and Maxwell had encouraged, facilitated and even taken part in these sexual encounters.
Annie Farmer is the only one who used Annie’s real name to testify. The rest used pseudonyms for their protection.
“Ghislaine Maxwell chose her path. Jeffrey Epstein committed the same crimes as her. Alison Moe, Assistant US Attorney for Alison Moe stated that she was a mature woman who was aware of exactly what was happening.
Maxwell’s sentencing date is unknown.
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