Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking and four other charges by a New York City jury on Wednesday for her role in years of sexual abuse and sex trafficking alongside partner Jeffrey Epstein. She was acquitted of one count of enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in an illegal sexual act. Follow below for more on the case and verdict.
More on the case:
– Jury began deliberating on December 20 following closing arguments from both the prosecution and defense teams — three days after Maxwell took the stand only to say she will not be testifying
-Maxwell could face a lengthy prison term based on her convictions with sentencing to come at a later date, according to The New York Times
– Four women testified throughout the trial that they were sexually abused by Maxwell’s former partner Jeffrey Epstein and that Maxwell “facilitated and sometimes participated” in their abuse, says CNN.
“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 alleged that Maxwell played a “key role” in a multi-state sex trafficking scheme in which she allegedly “befriended” and later “enticed and groomed multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein” and was also, at times, “present for and involved” in the abuse herself.
“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.”
Former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who brought the original 2019 indictment against Epstein, told ABC News in his first public comment about the Maxwell case, “I congratulate the prosecution team for delivering justice for the victims.”
“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,” said Annie Farmer, one of four accusers who testified against Maxwell. “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.”
“The jury’s verdict vindicates the courage and commitment of our clients who stood up against all odds for many years to bring Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to justice,” said attorney David Boies, who represented Farmer. However, said Boies, “They did not act, and could not have acted, alone. The scope and scale and duration of their sex trafficking crimes depended on many wealthy and powerful collaborators and co-conspirators. They too are not above the law. They too must be brought to justice.”
“Satisfaction with Maxwell’s conviction is tempered by the knowledge that other co-conspirators have yet to be held responsible for their involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s extraordinary criminal enterprise,” said attorney Jack Scarola, who represented the Maxwell accuser who testified under the name Carolyn. “Doors closed by Epstein’s death may be opened by the very strong motivation Maxwell now has to unlock every door to which she holds a key.”
Thanks to our friends at ABC News for contributing to this article.