Trial of Ghislaine Maxwell: Deceased Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime lover found guilty in 5 of 6 cases

British Social Democrat Ghislaine Maxwell risks up to 65 years in prison after a Manhattan jury found her guilty of five out of six charges against her for trafficking teenagers to be abused by her and the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

“A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable – facilitating and engaging in child sexual abuse,” said Southern District Attorney Damian Williams. “Crimes she committed with her longtime partner and accomplice, Jeffrey Epstein. The road to justice has been far too long. But today, justice has happened.”

He added: “I would like 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 the outcome of the day, possible.”

The jury acquitted on a single charge, enticing a person under the age of 17 to travel with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Maxwell, 60, was sitting still as U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan read the verdict. After jurors were questioned and confirmed their decision on each point, Maxwell poured himself a cup of water from a Fiji bottle and conferred with his lawyer. As she was escorted from the courtroom, Maxwell looked briefly at her two sisters and her brother, who was sitting in the front row.

During six days of deliberations – with a break for Christmas – the jury sent more than a dozen notes and requested testimony from all four prosecutors as well as other witnesses. The panel also demanded office supplies, including post-it notes, white cardboard and highlighters.

Prosecutors claimed Maxwell acted as the millionaire’s wife, recruiting and training four women between 1994 and 2004 when they were teenagers.

“Ghislaine Maxwell was dangerous,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said in closing remarks. “She manipulated her victims and cared for them. She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls. It’s time to hold her accountable.”

In this sketch in the courtroom, Ghislaine Maxwell, on the left, sits at the defense table with defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca as she listens to testimony in her sexual abuse trial, Thursday, December 16, 2021, in New York.  (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

In this sketch in the courtroom, Ghislaine Maxwell, on the left, sits at the defense table with defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca as she listens to testimony in her sexual abuse trial, Thursday, December 16, 2021, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Moe called her a “sophisticated predator” who “committed horrific crimes.”

Three of the women, Jane, Kate and Carolyn, testified under pseudonyms or their first names to protect their privacy, while the fourth, Annie Farmer, used her real name.

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Jane said she met Maxwell and Epstein at a music camp when she was 14, and was lured back to his Palm Beach mansion, where the couple reportedly loved her.

Kate testified that she was 17 when Maxwell introduced her to the convicted pedophile and asked her to give Epstein a sexual massage.

Carolyn testified that she met Epstein and Maxwell when she was 14. She was paid to give Epstein sexual massage and to recruit friends who were her age or younger. The abuse ended when she turned 18. “That was when I realized I was too old,” she told jurors.

Annie Farmer, now 42, met Maxwell when she was 16 and went to high school. Her big sister worked for Epstein. The couple flew her to Epstein’s extensive ranch in New Mexico, where she said the heir cared for her and that Epstein crawled into her bed. The prosecutor called a total of 24 witnesses.

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Defense attorney Laura Menninger argued that U.S. authorities only turned to Maxwell after Epstein hanged himself in a prison cell in Manhattan at age 66 while awaiting a sex trafficking lawsuit.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein employee accused of sex trafficking, stands before U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan along with her defense team in New York City, USA, on November 15, 2021.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein employee accused of sex trafficking, stands before U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan along with her defense team in New York City, USA, on November 15, 2021.
(REUTERS / Jane Rosenberg)

The lawyer told jurors that Maxwell was an “innocent woman” who became an attorney for Epstein’s sins after his death. Maxwell, daughter of British press baron Robert Maxwell, knew nothing about Epstein’s spoiled appetite for young girls, the lawyer said.

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Maxwell has been locked up since his arrest in July 2020.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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