Former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty in her sex trafficking trial for her involvement in ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged abuse of young, teenage girls. Proceedings were expected to take around six weeks, but have moved incredibly quickly with prosecutors calling 24 witnesses over 10 days, and defence calling 9 witnesses over 2 days. Jurors deliberated for five full days, before finding her guilty on five out of six counts.
Three accusers took the stand under pseudonym names — Carolyn, Kate and Jane with Annie Farmer as the fourth and final accuser.
Jane testified that she was 14 when the abuse took place, which continued until she was 16. She alleged that Maxwell was occasionally present during these sessions. Kate testified to meeting Maxwell at age 17, where she asked if Kate would give Epstein a massage. These encounters quickly turned sexual in nature and continued on for several years.
In Carolyn’s testimony, she recalled meeting Epstein around age 14, and visited his house “around 100 times” until the age of 18. She alleged that Maxwell touched her bare breast and buttocks during one visitation.
Annie Farmer (the only witness to testify under her full name) alleged that Maxwell gave her a nude massage at just 16-years old.
Prosecutors argued that Maxwell “preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them and served them up to be sexually abused” by Epstein. Defence alleged that Maxwell was a mere scapegoat for Epstein’s charges.
The American financier committed suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial for his sex trafficking charges, with Ghislaine’s trial taking place earlier this month.
Maxwell was tried on six counts relating to Epstein, and has maintained her innocence throughout. Despite her plea, she has been found guilty on five out of six charges which include:
- Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Conspiracy to sex traffick a minor
- Sex trafficking of a minor
She was not found guilty on the second count, ‘Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.’ She was acquitted on the charge pertaining to Jane, and encouraging her to travel in order to engage in illegal sex acts.
With five guilty verdicts out of six indictments, Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison.