/  12.29.2021

Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty for her involvement in Jeffrey Epstein‘s sexual abuse of teenaged girls.

After a three-week-long trial and six days of deliberations, a New York jury convicted the socialite of five of six counts: conspiracy to entice minors to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; conspiracy to transport minors in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; transporting a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors; and sex trafficking of a minor.

She was not convicted for enticing a minor to travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Maxwell formerly dated Epstein, a financier and former sex offender who was arrested for sex trafficking minors in 2019. As allegations piled up against him, he was discovered dead in his Brooklyn jail cell; an autopsy revealed he hung himself. A federal investigation into Epstein’s actions suggested Maxwell’s involvement in his sexual abuse of the underage girls, prompting her 2020 arrest by the FBI.

At the time, U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss claimed the 60-year-old heiress helped Epstein “identify” the girls before luring them with movie dates, cash payments and shopping trips. He said that she facilitated the abuse by grooming the young girls and was sometimes “present and involved” in their encounters with her ex.

Maxwell denied the allegations, pleading not guilty to all of the charges against her. Her defense attempted to prove her innocence, claiming she was only being targeted because prosecutors were unable to convict Epstein himself.

“She’s being tried here for being with Jeffrey Epstein,” defense lawyer Laura Menninger said during closing arguments. “Maybe that was the biggest mistake of her life, but that was not a crime.”

Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison.

 

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