The British socialite—who was convicted of five of the six counts she faced—could spend the rest of her life behind bars.
A New York jury on Wednesday found British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of child sex trafficking and four other counts in connection with her procurement and grooming of minors to be abused by her close friend, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
"The verdict screams loud and clear--if you make it easier for another to sexually abuse children, you, too, will be held accountable for your role in that abuse."
Maxwell, 60, was convicted of five of the six counts against her, including sex trafficking a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and conspiracy. She was acquitted of enticing a minor to travel in order to engage in illegal sex acts.
"The verdict screams loud and clear--if you make it easier for another to sexually abuse children, you, too, will be held accountable for your role in that abuse," Robert Glassman, an attorney for Maxwell accuser "Jane," said in a statement.
"The strong women survivors of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein's abuse can all sleep better tonight knowing that the justice system got it right," he added. "The jury stayed focused on what really mattered: Ms. Maxwell played a critical role in helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse girls."
GHISLAINE MAXWELL VERDICT: Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime associate of serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, convic… https://t.co/UiLAjA3Pyr— ABC News (@ABC News) 1640817322
The Associated Pressreports:
The verdict capped a monthlong trial featuring sordid accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14, told by four women who described being abused as teens in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein's palatial homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico. Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty of five of six counts...
The defense had insisted Maxwell was a victim of a vindictive prosecution devised to deliver justice to women deprived of their main villain when Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial in 2019.
However, prosecutor Alison Moe told the jury during closing arguments last week that Maxwell "was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing. She manipulated her victims and groomed them for sexual abuse."
Maxwell faces decades behind bars. Conspiracy to traffic minors carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, while the other counts are punishable by five to 10 years' imprisonment.
\u201cThe lesson: you do not have to be perfect to stand up for justice. All four of Ghislaine's accusers endured tough cross examinations about drug use, sexual behaviors, inconsistent statements.\n\nThe jury saw through it and delivered JUSTICE.\u201d— Lisa Bloom (@Lisa Bloom) 1640817182
U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a statement that Maxwell had committed "one of the worst crimes imaginable."
"The road to justice has been far too long," said Williams. "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."