Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell faces 65 years in jail for sex trafficking. What happened?
Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's former lover Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty in five out of six charges. She faces up to 65 years in prison.
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British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, a former associate of now-dead convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been found guilty. The verdict was reached after five full days of deliberation by a 12-person jury in New York, US. 60-year-old Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five of the six counts she faced, including sex trafficking a minor, which is the most serious charge. The one count she was not found guilty on was enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison.
Ghislaine Maxwell. Photo: Getty Images
The verdict followed a month-long trial that featured testimony from four women who described being abused by Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 2004. Annie Farmer, one of the women who testified against Maxwell, said, "I am so relieved and grateful that the jury recognised [her] pattern of predatory behaviour. I hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law." (READ MORE HERE: Who was Jeffrey Epstein and why is his case back in the news?)
One of Epstein's alleged victims, Sarah Ransome, told BBC Panorama, "Ghislaine controlled the girls. She was like the madam. She was like the nuts and bolts of the sex trafficking operation. She knew what Jeffrey liked. She worked and helped maintain Jeffrey's standard by intimidation, by intimidating the girls, so this was very much a joint effort."
Jeffrey Epstein was an American financier who was convicted of sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking. He died by suicide on August 10, 2019, in a New York jail. Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested a year later.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Photo: Getty Images
BBC reported that Maxwell 'showed no visible sign of emotion as the verdict was read out on December 29 and only poured herself a glass of water which she sipped from twice'. Shortly after the verdict, her lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, told reporters that her legal team were already working on an appeal and aid, "We firmly believe in Ghislaine's innocence."
The 5 charges that Maxwell was found guilty of are:
- sex trafficking of a minor
- transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors
- conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement, "The road to justice has been far too long. But, today, justice has been done. 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."