Ghislaine Maxwell: Found guilty of sex-trafficking minors

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Ghislaine Maxwell guilty Jeffrey Epstein's loyal offsider.(Supplied: US Attorney's Office SDNY)

Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children.

A jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of six counts related to her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of young girls between 1994 and 2004. 

The jury, which is made up of six women and six men, deliberated for about 40 hours over six days. 

Maxwell, 60, had pleaded not guilty to six federal charges: sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy. 

Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison. 

The jury, which is made up of six women and six men, deliberated for about 40 hours over six days. 

Maxwell was found not guilty on count two: enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Here are the five counts that Maxwell was found guilty of:

  • Count one: Conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
  • Count three: Conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
  • Count four: Transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
  • Count five: Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison.
  • Count six: Sex trafficking of minors, which carries a statutory maximum of 40 years in prison.

Ghislaine Maxwell, who faced six federal charges including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, could face up to 65 years in prison.

The prosecution called 24 total witnesses over 10 days of testimony and the defence called 9 witnesses over two days.

Prosecutors said in opening statements Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein created a system of sexual abuse in which they lured underage girls into sexual relationships with Epstein using the ruse of a massage and cash payments. 

Her defence argued that she is being scapegoated for Epstein’s actions and has attacked the memories and motivations of the women who say they were abused.

Maxwell declined to testify during the trial, telling Judge Alison Nathan when asked if she understood her rights, “Your honour, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. And so there is no need for me to testify.”

Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died by suicide in prison a month later. Maxwell was arrested a year afterwards.

These 4 women testified Maxwell facilitated and sometimes participated in sexual abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell Photographer: Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

The case against Ghislaine Maxwell primarily relied on the testimony of four women who said they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein when they were under 18. The women alleged that Maxwell facilitated and sometimes participated in that abuse.

Here’s what the witnesses said:

“Carolyn”

“Carolyn” testified that she was brought to Epstein’s Palm Beach when she was 14 years old around 2001. Carolyn, testifying by her first name only, said that she was paid hundreds of dollars each time she engaged in a sexualized message with Epstein and recruited other young girls for him. 

Carolyn said Maxwell groped her naked body on one visit when she was 14, telling her she “had a great body for Epstein and his friends.” Maxwell and other Epstein employees would call Carolyn’s mother to set up appointments for her to massage Epstein, she testified. During cross-examination, defence attorneys spent considerable time suggesting Carolyn made inconsistent statements about her timeline.

“Jane”

“Jane,” testifying anonymously under a pseudonym, alleged a years-long relationship with Epstein and Maxwell in which she said she endured sexual abuse at times by both and in group scenarios with other adults. The indictment alleges that Maxwell enticed and transported “Jane” to New York from Florida for Epstein to sexually abuse her.

She also testified that Maxwell groomed her and partook in the first sexual encounter “Jane” had with Epstein at his Palm Beach home when she was 14.

“Kate”

“Kate,” testifying under a pseudonym, alleged that Maxwell introduced her to Epstein when she was 17 in London and facilitated “Kate’s” sexualized messages of Epstein for years during which she travelled to the US and Epstein’s island. “Kate” is not considered a minor victim in the charges because she was over the age of consent at the time of the alleged abuse, but jurors are still allowed to consider her testimony, Judge Alison Nathan ruled.

Annie Farmer

Annie Farmer, the only accuser to testify by her full name, testified that she was 16 years old when Maxwell massaged her naked chest at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch in 1996. At the ranch, Maxwell directed Farmer to massage Epstein’s bare feet, and at one point, Epstein climbed into Farmer’s bed engaging in unwanted cuddling, she testified. Farmer never saw Maxwell or Epstein again after that trip.

Under cross-examination, Farmer acknowledged Maxwell was not in the room when Epstein got into her bed.

Jane, one of the accusers who testified under a pseudonym, testified about her years-long relationship with Epstein and Maxwell in which she said she endured sexual abuse at times by both and in group scenarios with other adults. The indictment alleged that Maxwell enticed and transported “Jane” to New York from Florida for Epstein to sexually abuse her. “Jane” testified to more than one trip to New York between 1994 and 1997 when she was a minor during which she said Maxwell sometimes coordinated her travel with them to New York where she engaged with Epstein in sexualized massages in the massage room in his Manhattan mansion. “Jane” also testified that Maxwell groomed her and partook in a sexual encounter with “Jane” and Epstein at his Palm Beach home when she was 14.

Earlier this week, during deliberations, the jury sent the judge a note asking for definition of enticement.

The judge sent a note in response referring the jury to “enticement” discussed on page 21, lines 5 and 6, and page 33, lines 5 and 6, in the jury charge. He further wrote that entice means to “attract, induce or lure using hope or desire.”

Note: Two perjury charges against Maxwell related to a 2016 deposition in a civil case have been severed from this trial and are to be addressed in a separate trial later.  

Related articles:

Sir Keir Starmer: The Trilateral Commission and Jeffrey Epstein

Mandelson, Starmer, and Jeffery Epstein how are they all connected

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