Ghislaine Maxwell Found Guilty on 5 Counts in Sex Trafficking Case
Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has been convicted of five counts of abuse and trafficking of underage girls.
This week, the jury found Maxwell guilty on five of the six counts for allegedly conspiring with and aiding Epstein as he sexually abused underage girls from 1994 to 2004.
The jury deliberated about 40 hours over six days. According to ABC News, Maxwell did not show any visible emotion as the verdict was read.
"A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable – facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement following the verdict. "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."
"This Office will always stand with victims, will always follow the facts wherever they lead, and will always fight to ensure that no one, no matter how powerful and well connected, is above the law," Williams added.
Prosecutors said that Maxwell had a "key role" in Epstein's sex trafficking scheme where she allegedly befriended, enticed and groomed "multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein." Authorities also said she was "present for and involved" in some of the abuse herself.
Meanwhile, Maxwell's family says she is innocent.
"We believe firmly in our sister's innocence – we are very disappointed with the verdict," the Maxwell family said in a statement. "We have already started the appeal tonight, and we believe that she will ultimately be vindicated."
Maxwell's sentencing date has not been set.
"I am so relieved and grateful that the jury recognized the pattern of predatory behavior that Maxwell engaged in for years and found her guilty of these crimes," Annie Farmer, one of four accusers who testified against Maxwell, said in a statement. "I hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it ... even those with great power and privilege will be held accountable when they sexually abuse and exploit the young."
Epstein died by suspected suicide in jail in 2019.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Laura Cavanaugh/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.