Ghislaine Maxwell Found Guilty on Sex Trafficking Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted Wednesday on federal charges of luring underage girls to engage in sex acts with financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty of five of six counts. She faces up to 65 years in prison.

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Maxwell, 60, faced charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to entice Epstein’s victims. The trial lasted almost a month in federal court in Manhattan, and included testimony from four women who alleged that Maxwell recruited them into having sex with Epstein in the 1990s and early 2000s.

She was found not guilty of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Ghislaine Maxwell Trial
Ghislaine Maxwell Trial

One woman, Annie Farmer, testified that Maxwell had given her a massage when she was 16 during a visit to Epstein’s New Mexico ranch. She testified that Maxwell instructed her to roll over and then rubbed her upper breasts.

Three other women testified using only first names, two of which were pseudonyms. One of them, identified in court as Jane, alleged that Maxwell and Epstein befriended her when she was 14. She alleged that she endured years of sexual abuse at Epstein’s homes in New York, Florida and New Mexico. Sometimes the sex acts would involve Maxwell, she said.

Another accuser, Kate, testified that she met Maxwell in London in 1994. Maxwell later arranged for her to fly to Florida, New York and Epstein’s island in the Virgin Islands to give him sexual massages, she testified. Another woman, Carolyn, testified that Epstein abused her more than 100 times starting in 2001. She told the jury that Maxwell would set up appointments for her to give Epstein massages, and the massages would become sexual. She said Maxwell would pay her a few hundred dollars afterward.

Prosecutors also showed that Maxwell had received $30.7 million from Epstein from 1999 to 2007, and argued that the payments underscored her complicity in Epstein’s crimes.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Laura Menninger highlighted inconsistencies in some of the women’s stories. The defense also sought to distance Maxwell from Epstein, and argued she was being scapegoated. Maxwell opted not to testify.

Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire in July 2020, nearly a year after Epstein committed suicide. Epstein had been arrested on charges of running a sex-trafficking operation that involved dozens of girls, some as young as 14. Epstein committed suicide by hanging in his jail cell in August 2019.

Maxwell has repeatedly been denied bail, as prosecutors argued she posed a flight risk. Maxwell faces a separate trial on two charges that she committed perjury during a deposition.

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