Ghislaine Maxwell, the former companion of Jeffrey Epstein, has been found guilty of five of the six charges against her in her federal sex trafficking case. The 60-year-old daughter of a British media mogul was convicted of conspiring with the financier to recruit, groom, and sexually assault underage girls over several decades, the New York Times reports. The deliberations took five full days after what was described by many as the trial of the century.
- Maxwell was acquitted on one conspiracy charge. The charge was one count of enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in an illegal sexual act. This charge pertained to Jane, the first woman to give testimony in the trial.
- Maxwell seemed to have no visible response to the verdict. Once the jury sent a note to the judge revealing it had reached a verdict, Maxwell was brought into the courtroom wearing dark clothes and a dark mask. There, “she poured water from a plastic bottle into a paper cup and took a sip.” She repeated this action after the verdict was announced just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
- She left the courtroom shortly thereafter. Without stopping to speak to her lawyers, Maxwell is said to have looked over at her siblings in the first row of the courtroom before leaving. It’s unclear by her actions whether she was surprised by the conviction or not.
- The prosecution painted Maxwell as a predator. While presenting their case, the prosecution attempted to paint Maxwell as a predator who was cunning in her manipulation of the vulnerable victims. “Ms. Maxwell was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing,” said prosecutor, Alison Moe during closing arguments. “She manipulated her victims and groomed them for sexual abuse.”
- The judge has not yet set a date for sentencing. Judge Alison J Nathan dismissed court for the day after the verdict was read without setting a date for sentencing. That is expected to be decided and announced in the coming days. She faces a maximum of 65 years in prison for the five convictions.
- Damian Williams, the US attorney in Manhattan, issued a statement following the verdict. “A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable – facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. Crimes that she committed with her long-time partner and co-conspirator, Jeffrey Epstein,” he said. “The road to justice has been far too long. But, today, justice has been done. 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.”
- She still has a second trial to face. Judge Nathan previously separated out two perjury charges related to testimony Maxwell gave during a 2016 deposition related to Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking and abuse charges. A date for that trial has not yet been set.