Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty on five out of six counts against her
Ghislaine Maxwell, the 60-year-old British socialite has today, Wednesday, December 29, been found guilty in a New York courtroom. A guilty verdict was returned on five of the six counts she faced, related to the alleged sexual abuse and trafficking of underage girls.
Maxwell could now face up to 60 years behind bars, with two perjury charges still to be heard separately. A verdict had been in jeopardy due to the increased spread of the Omicron virus in New York City, with the judge asking jurors to spend longer deliberating each day, to save time.
She had been charged with allegedly helping convicted multi-millionaire paedophile financier, Jeffrey Epstein, between 1994 and 2004, sexually abuse girls sometimes as young as 14. Her alleged role included ‘serving up the girls’ for Epstein, and even joining in with their abuse, the pair being described in court as ‘partners in crime’.
It took 30 hours, over a five-day period, for the jury of twelve to finally reach their verdict. Maxwell was only found not guilty on one charge, that of enticing a minor to engage in an illegal sex act.
Alison Moe, the Assistant US Attorney, on Monday 27 had summed up the prosecution case against Maxwell, labelling her, “a grown woman who preyed on vulnerable kids”, adding that she was “a sophisticated predator, who knew exactly what she was doing”, who, “ran the same playbook again, and again, and again”.
“She manipulated her victims and groomed them. She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls. Epstein could not have done this alone. When that man is accompanied by a posh, smiling, respectable, age-appropriate woman, that’s when everything starts to seem legitimate”, said Moe.
Throughout what has been dubbed ‘the trial of the century’, jurors were exposed to the weedy world of Epstein and Maxwell. They heard stories about the couple’s seedy relationship, including intimate photographs of the two.
Four female witnesses came forward to testify, each one describing how Maxwell had been the person responsible for luring them into massaging Epstein, a process which eventually led to their being sexually abused by him.
‘Jane’, one of the accusers, related how Maxwell had recruited her at summer camp, making her ‘feel special’, before introducing her to Epstein. Sexual encounters became a routine occurrence with Epstein said ‘Jane, often with Maxwell in attendance.
Another witness, ‘Carolyn’, explained how, after sexual encounters with Epstein, she would get paid $300, usually by Maxwell in person. While 42-year-old Annie Farmer alleged that as a teenager, at his ranch in New Mexico, Epstein fondled her breasts, as reported by metro.co.uk.