Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five (out of six) counts of facilitating Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse. “A unanimous jury found Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable: facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children,” said Attorney Damian Williams, “crimes he committed with his longtime partner and co-conspirator, Jeffrey Epstein ».
The only charge that has not been recognized is that of inducing a minor to travel beyond the borders of the state to engage in an illegal sexual act. Maxwell, now 60, faces up to 65 years in prison when she is sentenced.
The jury, after listening to dozens of testimonies for three weeks, did not therefore have many doubts: the prosecutors described Maxwell as the central pivot in Epstein’s scheme for abusing underage girls. His four accusers in the trial recounted how Epstein sexually exploited them as teenagers and how Maxwell recruited them. or prepare for her abuse, sometimes by participating in it herself. Much evidence has been provided to support the contention that Epstein and Maxwell were lovers and co-workers: the couple’s former employees described her as her number two, tightly integrated into her day-to-day affairs. Assistant Attorney Alison Moe in her closing speeches on December 20 said: “It is very clear that Maxwell knew and was deeply involved in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minors.”
Throughout the trial, however, Maxwell’s defense sought to separate her from Epstein and argue that her accusers had mistakenly associated her with their memories of Epstein’s abuses in order to profit from it. “Jeffrey Epstein died and then everyone got a lawyer,” defense attorney Laura Menninger said. “Each of the accusers secured a lawyer before they first entered this case in September 2019 to speak with the FBI. You don’t need a lawyer to go talk to the FBI, unless you want to get some money. ‘ In fact, each accuser testified that she has already received her money from Epstein’s Victims Compensation Fund and that she has no financial interest in the outcome of the trial..
Menninger continued, arguing that Maxwell “was tried here for being with Jeffrey Epstein. Maybe it was the biggest mistake of his life, but it wasn’t a crime. ‘ Meanwhile, after the verdict, Maxwell’s lawyers immediately started working on the appeal.
But let’s take a step back: the verdict comes more than two years after Epstein killed himself in a federal prison pending trial, and three years after a series of investigative Miami Herald, Perversion of Justice has renewed attention on Epstein. Reporter Julie K. Brown shed new light on the leniency deal Epstein received from prosecutors in 2008 after pleading guilty to charges of aiding child prostitution in Florida.
During the Maxwell trial, prosecutors argued from the start that the couple preyed on vulnerable girls from troubled families. Maxwell thought that “those girls would never stand up to a power couple like Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell,” prosecutor Maurene Comey told the jury. “And if they did, who would have believed them? Who would believe Jane or Kate or Carolyn or Annie rather than Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, who have dated presidents, celebrities and business leaders? ‘