Ghislaine Maxiwell is convicted in Epstein case for sex abuse

NEW YORK (AP), The British socialite Ghislaine Maxill was convicted Wednesday for luring teenage girls to sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, an American millionaire.

Ghislaine Maxiwell is convicted in Epstein case for sex abuse

The verdict was the culmination of a month-long trial that featured sordid accounts about the sexual exploitation girls as young as 14 years old, told by four women who claimed they were abused as teenagers in Epstein's homes in Florida and New York.

Maxwell was found guilty of five out of six charges after five days of deliberation by jurors. Maxwell could spend years behind bars, as the maximum sentence for each of the six charges ranges from five to 40 years imprisonment. This is a result that Maxwell was long seeking.

Maxwell, who was wearing a black mask as the verdict was read, was mostly stoic. After the verdict was read, Maxwell could be seen drinking water while one of her lawyers patted her back. As the jury left, she stood with her hands folded and looked at her siblings who were there every day. This markedly changed from previous days when Maxwell and her team were physically close to one another.

Annie Farmer, one of Maxwell's victims, stated that she was thankful the jury had recognized Maxwell’s "pattern predatory behavior."

In a prepared statement, she stated that "She has caused harm to many more women then the few of us who were able to testify in courtroom." "I hope this verdict brings some comfort to those who need it, and shows that the law is not infallible. When they abuse or exploit young girls, even those in great positions of power and privilege will be held responsible."

After witnessing what he called "one the most horrific crimes imaginable," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams gave praise to Maxwell's victims.

"I want to laud the bravery displayed by the girls, now grown women, who stepped out from the shadows and entered the courtroom. He said that the girls' courage and willingness to confront their abuser made today's outcome possible.

There was no sentencing date.

Maxwell, the defense claimed, was a victim in a vindictive prosecution designed to deliver justice for women who were deprived of their main villain. Epstein committed suicide while waiting to be tried in 2019.

Kevin Maxwell, her brother, stated that the Maxwell family believes she will be convicted on appeal. He stated in writing that he believes in his sister's innocence.

24 witnesses were called by prosecutors to provide jurors with a picture of Epstein's home. This was a topic of fascination and speculation since Epstein's 2006 arrest in Florida for child sex.

According to a housekeeper, Epstein was expected to be blind, deaf, and dumb about his private life. He was a financier who made friends with business tycoons and politicians. Maxwell had lived a lavish lifestyle as the preferred child of a media mogul.

Pilots testified and dropped the names if luminaries, including Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Donald Trump, who flew on Epstein’s private jets.

Jurors examined physical evidence such as Epstein's folding massage table and a black book listing contact information for victims under the heading of "massages"

Bank records showed that he had transferred $30.7million to Maxwell, his longtime companion and onetime girlfriend.

The prosecution's core was based on the testimony of four women who claimed they were victims of Maxwell and Epstein when they were young.

Jane, a television actress, Kate, a former model in Great Britain, and Carolyn, who is a recovering mom from drug addiction, all testified under first names or pseudonyms. Farmer was the fourth, who used her real name because she had been vocal about her claims in recent years.

They shared the same description of Maxwell's behavior. She used charms and gifts to win their trust and take an interest in their adolescent struggles. Epstein gave them assurances that he could use his wealth to help them achieve their dreams.

The script was darkening when Maxwell coaxed them to give Epstein massages that turned sexual. Epstein accepted the massages and Kate, then 17, told Maxwell she had had fun. Maxwell said: "You're such a good girl!"

Carolyn stated that she was one among many underprivileged teens who lived near Epstein’s Florida home in 2000. She accepted a $100 bill to massage her. Prosecutors called it a "pyramid of abuse."

Carolyn said Maxwell was responsible for all arrangements even though Maxwell knew that the girl was just 14 years old at the time.

Jane stated that Epstein told her to follow her into the Palm Beach estate's pool house, where he masturbated against her in 1994 when she was just 14.

Jane was only charged with two charges, the lone count of which Maxwell was acquitted on.

She said that she was "frozen in fear" and added that it was the first time she'd ever seen a penis. Maxwell was also directly accused by her of being involved in her abuse.

Jane was asked by Maxwell's lawyer why Jane had not come forward sooner.

She choked back tears and said "I was afraid." "I was ashamed, embarrassed. "I didn't want anyone to know anything about me."

Farmer, the last witness to testify, described Maxwell touching her breasts during a massage at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch. He also mentioned how Epstein unintentionally crawled into her bed and put his arms against her.

Maxwell, who was 60 years old on Christmas Eve, strongly denied the charges by her lawyers.

She declined to testify, saying that the government had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Bobbi Sternheim (Maxwell's lawyer) stated to the jury that "the charges against Ghislaine Maxwell relate to things Jeffrey Epstein did." "But she's not Jeffrey Epstein, and she's not like Jeffrey Epstein."

Maxwell's legal team asked Maxwell if the accusers' memories were flawed or influenced by lawyers who sought large payouts from Maxwell as well as Epstein's civil estate. They called Elizabeth Loftus as a witness during their two-day presentation. Loftus is a professor who has been a memory expert in defense lawyers' cases at over 300 trials, including Harvey Weinstein's rape trial.

Maxwell's family claimed she was being held in Brooklyn jail, where she has been since July 2020. She repeatedly and in vain tried to get bail, arguing she couldn't adequately assist her defense.

Sternheim requested that Maxwell be removed from the courtroom before she was given a coronavirus booster shot. She stated that infection rates at the prison were increasing rapidly. As the recent surge threatened to disrupt the trial, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan urged jurors to quickly work to avoid a mistrial due to sickened jurors.

The legal battles over Epstein and Maxwell continue.

Maxwell is still being tried on two counts perjury.

There are many lawsuits in the works. One in which Virginia Giuffre (a non-participant in the trial) claims she was forced into having sexual encounters with Prince Andrew as a 17-year-old. Andrew has denied her claim and the lawsuit is unlikely to go to trial for several months.

Giuffre, through her lawyers, released a statement following the Maxwell verdict. She stated, "I hope today isn't the end, but rather another step towards justice being served."

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