A jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of six counts related to her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls between 1994 and 2004.
[Previous story, published at 5:37 a.m.]
A jury has reached a verdict in the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and close associate of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The jury’s decision represents a concluding chapter in a disturbing saga of abuse that stretches nearly three decades.
Prosecutors argued Maxwell and Epstein conspired to set up a scheme to lure young girls into sexual relationships with Epstein from 1994 to 2004 in New York, Florida, New Mexico and the US Virgin Islands. Four women testified during the trial that Epstein abused them and that Maxwell facilitated the abuse and sometimes participated in it as well.
Her defense, meanwhile, said she was a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s actions and attacked the memories and motivations of the women who say they were sexually abused.
The trial, which began November 29, alternated between disturbing testimony from sexual abuse victims and illuminating testimony about some of Epstein’s connections to high-profile figures such as Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew. None are alleged to have committed wrongdoing in relation to the ongoing trial.
Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died by suicide in prison a month later. Maxwell, his confidante and former girlfriend, was arrested a year afterward and has been held in jail since.
The trial took place in federal court in Manhattan, which prohibits the use of cameras.