The jury in the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend, has reached a verdict, finding Maxwell guilty on five of six counts.
The jury indicated that it had reached a verdict at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday after deliberating for six days.
“We have a verdict,” Judge Alison Nathan said.
Maxwell has been on trial in Manhattan federal court since late November for allegedly facilitating and personally participating in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls as young as 13.
The well-connected and wealthy financier was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August of 2019 before he could go on trial for his alleged decades of grooming and sexual abuse, including rape, of minor girls in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Maxwell, who spent her 60th birthday in jail on Saturday, is charged with eight counts related to the sex trafficking of minors over a decade-long period between 1994 and 2004, including sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. A separate, later trial will consider two perjury charges against her.
The British socialite has pled not guilty to all counts. If convicted, she faces up to 70 years in prison.
Earlier this month, Maxwell opted not to testify in her own defense at the trial.
The prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments last week on Monday as the trial entered its fourth week just before Christmas.
Maxwell was an adult woman who became a dangerous predator targeting vulnerable young girls, the prosecution said.
“She manipulated her victims and groomed them. She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said, arguing that Maxwell had worked with Epstein to commit “horrifying crimes.”
“It is time to hold her accountable,” Moe told the jurors.
Over the course of the trial, the jury heard from four of Maxwell’s alleged victims, several former Epstein employees, and a psychologist specializing in sexual abuse, among others.
One of the accusers, a woman testifying under the pseudonym “Jane,” testified that Epstein and Maxwell abused her together when she was just 14 years old. Maxwell took her on shopping trips, asked her about her life, and discussed sexual topics with her, “Jane” said.
Three other women who say they were groomed or abused by Maxwell also testified. A woman testifying under the name “Kate” told the court that Maxwell set up meetings for girls to give Epstein sexualized massages. Another woman, Carolyn, testifying only under her first name, said that she was 14 when Maxwell touched her breasts and behind and told her she “had a great body for Epstein and his friends.” Annie Farmer, testifying under her real full name, said that Maxwell massaged her naked breasts when she was 16.
Meanwhile, Maxwell fostered a “culture of silence” working as Epstein’s “lady of the house” and taking care of his multiple residences, making hiring and firing decisions regarding his staff, and laying down “strict” rules for them, prosecutors said.
The defense has attempted to cast doubt on the credibility of Maxwell’s accusers, saying the women have “contaminated” memories of their abuse. The defense has also attempted to assign selfish motives to nearly all the government’s witnesses, saying the women are motivated by money in going after Maxwell decades after the alleged abuse occurred.
On Monday, jurors requested the transcripts of certain witness’ trial testimony and asked for the definition of “enticement.” The judge referred them to her jury instructions, which she had read to jurors before Christmas break and before they began deliberating.
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