Ghislaine Maxwell, who was accused of involvement in Jeffrey Epstein’s empire of underage sex trafficking, has been found guilty of all but one charge.
The trial of Ghislaine Maxwell has come to an end after days of deliberation, and she has been found guilty of sex trafficking and four other charges. She was however acquitted of one charge: enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in a sexual act.
Maxwell’s trial has been an ongoing storm since the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein in August of 2019. Ghislaine Maxwell was Epstein’s partner and assistant, and thus many have seen her case as emblematic for the case that Epstein himself never had a chance to experience.
To summarise: Maxwell has been found guilty on five of the six charges placed against her by prosecutors. The charges she is guilty of include; enticement of a minor for same; conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; transportation of a minor for same; sex trafficking conspiracy; sex trafficking of a minor.
In the US, sex trafficking of a minor alone can mean a jail sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
Once the judge read the final count of charges, a microphone was passed to each individual juror who confirmed the verdict was unanimous.
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 29, 2021
Testimonies began on November 29th, and the trial was initially thought to last much longer than it has – up to six weeks, in fact. Maxwell’s defence involved pleading not guilty to all six charges laid against her.
Her defence suggested that her accusers were attempting to levee her wealth and influence in their own favour, and also that she was being used as a scapegoat for the crimes that Epstein committed but was never punished for.
During the trial, four alleged victims testified that Maxwell had “manipulated and served them up to be sexually abused by Epstein” between 1994 and 2014. The victims were as young as 14 at the time, and they also alleged that Maxwell too played a part in their abuse at times.
Virginia Giuffre, who did not take part in this trial but has fought a long-running civil case against Maxwell, has responded to the news of Maxwell’s verdict. While grateful for the news, she makes the fact that many more people were complicit in the sex trafficking empire Maxwell and Epstein created, and that they too must be brought to justice.
I hope that today is not the end but rather another step in justice being served. Maxwell did not act alone. Others must be held accountable. I have faith that they will be.
— Virginia Giuffre (@VRSVirginia) December 29, 2021
While certainly a large win against the enormous web of sexual crimes committed with Epstein and Maxwell at the helm, this verdict should lead to further prosecution against the many others allegedly involved in their empire.
If yourself or anyone you know has been or may be a victim of sexual assault, you can contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) from anywhere in Australia for information, counselling, and support.