Ghislaine Maxwell has been charged for sex trafficking a minor for Jeffrey Epstein with four other related charges.
Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, has been found guilty on five of six counts by an unanimous jury in the New York federal court for her role in Jeffry Epstein's sexual abuse of minors from 1994 to 2004. Maxwell, Jeffry Epstein's former girlfriend, was arrested a year after his death by suicide in prison while on trial for sexual abuse of minor girls for a decade, reports CNN. Maxwell was convicted on five counts including, sex trafficking a minor, taking a minor to recruit them for sexual activity, and three other charges related to conspiracy with Epstein. She now faces up to 65 years of imprisonment.
Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of facilitating the abuse of underage girls at the hands of wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein.— NPR (@NPR) December 30, 2021
Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty on five of the six counts she faced, including the sex trafficking of a minor. pic.twitter.com/K5bohiCIOX
According to Reuters, Maxwell's "high-profile case" is being seen as a redemption for all the victims who came forward against Epstein during the #MeToo movement. They never got a chance at justice as Epstein killed himself in a jail cell awaiting his trial. Damien Williams, a US Attorney, released a statement on this conviction, saying, "I want to commend the bravery of the girls -- now grown women -- who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom. Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today's result, possible."
The prosecutors of the case stated that Maxwell and Epstein together created a whole ring of young girls and abused them sexually between the years 1994 to 2004. Assistant US Attorney Allison Moe said during the trial, "Ghislaine Maxwell made her own choices. She committed crimes hand in hand with Jeffrey Epstein. She was a grown woman who knew exactly what she was doing."
A jury found Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's associate, guilty on 5 of 6 counts in a sex trafficking case. pic.twitter.com/ncYHRGaeXt— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 30, 2021
Four women came up and testified against Maxwell, stating clearly that she totally supported the abuse and sometimes even participated in it.
The trial that almost lasted a month, evaluated explicit testimonies from the victims and the evidence that linked Epstein's case to well-known celebrities. Annie Farmer, one of the victims who testified against Maxwell, said on Wednesday that she hopes that the decision of the jury brings some peace to all the victims. She says, "I am so relieved and grateful that the jury recognized the pattern of predatory behavior that Maxwell engaged in for years and found her guilty of these crimes." She added, "She [Maxwell] has caused hurt to many more women than the few of us who had the chance to testify in the courtroom."
Another victim named Jane (name changed), testified that Maxwell was the one who used to coordinate her travel while she was constantly being abused by Epstein in 1994. She also clarified that Maxwell used to participate with Epstein in his sexual acts and used to act like it was normal.
Ghislaine Maxwell, who is 60 years old, now faces decades in prison. The most serious count on which she was convicted was sex trafficking of a minor, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 40 years in jail. https://t.co/t0C23PqENS— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 29, 2021
Her defense said that Maxwell was nothing but "scapegoat" for Epstein's actions. They also tried to attack the credibility of the victims and their memory regarding the incidents that involved sexual abuse. Bobbi C. Steinham, Maxwell's lawyer, told CNN, "We firmly believe in Ghislaine's innocence. Obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict." Steinham said that Maxwell's lawyers are working on an appeal.
When the verdicts were read, Maxwell showed no reaction. Maxwell will return to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), where she has been held in isolation since July 2020. No sentencing date has yet been set.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Spencer Platt