Thursday, December 7

Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted of child sex trafficking

(CNN) — A jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of five of six counts related to her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage women between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell, 60, had pleaded not guilty to six federal charges: sex trafficking of a minor, tempting a minor to travel for criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three counts of conspiracy. Ghislaine Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison.

She was found guilty on five of those charges. She was not found guilty of the charge of tempting a person under the age of 17 to travel with the intention of engaging in illegal sexual activity, which was related to one of the accusers, known by the pseudonym “Jane”.

“The road to justice has been too long. But today, justice has been served,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “I want to commend the bravery of the girls, now grown women, who came out of the shadows and into the courtroom. Their bravery and willingness to confront their abuser made this case and today’s outcome possible.”

The jury, which consisted of six women and six men, deliberated for approximately 40 hours, over parts of six days.

The jury’s decision represents a final chapter in a disturbing saga of abuse that spans nearly three decades.

Ghislaine Maxwell showed no visible reaction when the verdict was read. Judge Alison Nathan did not set a sentencing date. Maxwell still faces two pending perjury charges related to a 2016 civil deposition.

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After the jury left the courtroom, defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim asked the judge to establish an order allowing Maxwell to receive a covid-19 booster shot. Nathan said he would analyze it.

The trial, which began on November 29, alternated between disturbing testimonies from victims of sexual abuse and illuminating testimony about some of Epstein’s connections to high-profile figures such as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew. None are alleged to have committed any wrongdoing in connection with the trial that has just ended.

The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell

The ‘socialite’ behind Jeffrey Epstein 3:38

All of the charges relate to the testimonies of four women who say Ghislaine Maxwell facilitated their sexual abuse – and was sometimes involved in it as well – more than a decade ago when they were under 18 years of age. However, as the 83-page jury instructions explain, some of the women are more important to the charges than others because of their age at the time and their specific allegations.

His defense sought to undermine the memories and motivations of the accusers during questioning. He also argued that prosecutors were trying to make Ghislaine Maxwell a scapegoat just because Epstein committed suicide before he could be tried.

Prosecutors argued that Maxwell and Epstein conspired to set up a scheme to lure young women into having sex with Epstein from 1994 to 2004 in New York, Florida, New Mexico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Steve Almasy, Ray Sanchez, Eric Levenson, and Lauren Del Valle contributed to this report.

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