Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in sex-trafficking trial: What you need to know
The British former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking in her Manhattan federal court trial on Wednesday afternoon.
Maxwell, 60, was arrested in July 2020, charged with involvement in ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of teenage girls, some as young as 14.
Epstein, a convicted sex offender and presumed billionaire, counted Prince Andrew and former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump as cronies before killing himself in a New York jail in 2019, about one month after his sex-trafficking arrest.
Maxwell was convicted on five of the six charges she faced. In addition to sex trafficking, Maxwell was found guilty of conspiracy to entice individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, conspiracy to transport individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; transportation of an individual under the age of 17 with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of individuals under the age of 18.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan dealt several blows to the defence during the month-long trial that ended on Wednesday, including denying a request to have some witnesses testify anonymously and another to block lawyers for two of the accusers from taking the stand.
It means the British socialite could spend the rest of her life behind bars.
A date for Maxwell's sentencing has not yet been set.
Shortly after the verdict, her legal team said they were already working on an appeal. "We firmly believe in Ghislaine's innocence," her lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, told reporters.