BREAKING: Ghislaine Maxwell Found Guilty
In a New York federal court, a 12-person jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of six counts stemming from her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s serial abuse of minor girls.
Maxwell was convicted on five federal charges: sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three related counts of conspiracy. The 60-year-old British socialite was acquitted on the charge of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Prosecutors argued that Maxwell groomed and trafficked underage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein. They accused Maxwell of conspiring with Epstein to coordinate a scheme to lure young girls into sexual relationships from 1994 to 2004 in New York, Florida, New Mexico, and the Virgin Islands.
After a month-long trial, the jury deliberated for roughly 40 hours across six days before handing down their verdict. The charges relate to testimony from four women who say Maxwell facilitated and occasionally participated in their sexual abuse between 1994 and 2004.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams praised the victims for their testimony after experiencing “one of the worst crimes imaginable.”
“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,” Williams said in a statement.
Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison. Judge Alison Nathan did not set a sentencing date.
The defense had argued that prosecutors were using Maxwell as a scapegoat because Epstein died before he could stand trial.
“The charges against Ghislaine Maxwell are for things that Jeffrey Epstein did,” one of Maxwell’s lawyers, Bobbi Sternheim, told the jury. “But she is not Jeffrey Epstein and she is not like Jeffrey Epstein.”
However, the four accusers who testified had a much different opinion of Maxwell’s involvement.
“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,” said Annie Falmer, the only publicly identified accuser. “She has caused hurt to many more women than the few of us who had the chance to testify in the courtroom.”
Maxwell also faces two pending perjury charges stemming from a 2016 civil deposition.
Falmer said Maxwell massaged her bare chest at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996 when she was 16 years old. The three other women testified using first names or pseudonyms.
Jane, a television actress, said Maxwell organized sexual massages with Epstein and sometimes participated in the abuse.
Maxwell’s lawyers asked Jane, who was 14 at the time, why it had taken so long to come forward.
“I was scared,” she said. “I was embarrassed, ashamed. I didn’t want anybody to know any of this about me.”
Carolyn, now a mom in recovery from drug addiction, testified that when she was 14, Maxwell touched her breasts, hips, and buttocks and told her she “had a great body for Epstein and his friends.”
Kate, a former model from Great Britain, testified that Maxwell invited her over and trained her how to give Epstein a sexual massage. Kate said Maxwell often spoke of sexual topics and asked Kate to invite other young girls for Epstein.
All four women described how Maxwell charmed them and gave them gifts to gain their trust, assuring them that Epstein’s wealth and connections could fulfill their dreams. But, they said, things took a dark turn once Maxwell coaxed them into giving Epstein massages that turned sexual — which Maxwell normalized. After one such massage, Kate, 17 at the time, said Maxwell asked her if she had fun and told her: “You are such a good girl.”
Prosecutors called 24 witnesses during the trial, including a housekeeper who said he was expected to be “blind, deaf, and dumb” about Epstein and Maxwell’s private lives.
The jury saw physical evidence as well, such as a folding massage table once used by Epstein and a “black book” that listed the victims’ contact information under the heading “massages.” Additionally, bank records showed Epstein transferred $30.7 million to Maxwell.
“Maxwell was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing,” prosecutor Alison Moe told the jury in closing arguments last week. “She manipulated her victims, and she groomed them for sexual abuse.”
Maxwell’s legal battles continue
Maxwell’s defense team indicated that they intend to appeal the conviction.
“We firmly believe in Ghislaine’s innocence. Obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict. We have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated,” Sternheim said.
In addition to the two pending perjury charges, Maxwell faces a lawsuit from another Epstein accuser. Virginia Giuffre, who was not involved in the trial, says she was coerced into sexual encounters with Prince Andrew when she was 17. Andrew has denied the accusation.
In a new interview with The Cut, Giuffre said Maxwell is “worse than Epstein.”
“She was the devil’s right-hand man. She made these appointments for him, she actively went out there and scouted for new girls. She was part of the sexual encounters at times. To paint herself as just the ‘house manager’ is a load of crock,” Giuffre told the outlet.
“She’s definitely worse than Epstein. She used that charm, that wit, that smile to come off as somebody you want to trust. Epstein did a whole bunch of really bad stuff, acting on his sick urges. One victim said it perfectly: Jeffrey had to ejaculate like you and I have to breathe. It’s organic to him. But Ghislaine facilitated it. She was the one out there bringing the girls in for him and participating in some of the sexual events. She’s worse to me, more evil than Epstein. What Ghislaine did to so many of us, it’s unforgivable.”