Ghislaine Maxwell Guilty of Sex Trafficking

Jury found her guilty on 5 out of 6 charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2021 4:37 PM CST
Ghislaine Maxwell Guilty on 5 Out of 6 Charges
In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, center, sits in the courtroom during a discussion about a note from the jury, during her sex trafficking trial, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, in New York.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

A day after Judge Alison Nathan warned the jury in Ghislaine Maxwell's trial that there was a high risk they would end up in quarantine, they returned with a verdict: Guilty on all but one charge. Maxwell, who turned 60 on Christmas Day, was found guilty of sex trafficking of minors and four other charges, but was acquitted on one count of enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in an illegal sexual act, the New York Times reports. Jurors deliberated for five full days following the British socialite's monthlong trial, in which witnesses said she recruited them as minors and groomed them for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein, sometimes participating in the abuse herself.

The sex trafficking charge carries a possible sentence of 40 years in prison. Maxwell was also convicted of conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. The AP reports that Maxwell was "largely stoic behind a black mask" as the verdict was read in a New York City courtroom Wednesday. In contrast to previous days, she did not hug her lawyers on her way out.

Damian Williams, the US attorney for the southern district of New York, praised the verdict, the Guardian reports. She was found guilty of "one of the worst crimes imaginable, facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. Crimes that she committed with her long-time partner and co-conspirator Jeffrey Epstein," Williams said in a statement. "The road to justice has been far too long, but today justice has been done. I want to commend the bravery of the girls, now grown women, who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom." (More Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)

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