By Dan Mangan and Amanda Macias Dec. 29, 2021
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted Wednesday for helping late sex criminal and financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse underage girls.
Maxwell, who turned 60 years old on Christmas Day, faced six criminal counts at her trial. Jurors deliberated for five days before finding her guilty of five of the six counts. She faces the likelihood of years in prison.
She did not appear to have any reaction as the judge read the jury’s verdict.
Maxwell faces a second trial on perjury charges for allegedly lying under oath in a lawsuit filed by an accuser of Epstein.
The British socialite was arrested in New Hampshire in July 2020, a year after Epstein himself was arrested on child sex trafficking charges.
She is the first person charged in connection with Epstein’s alleged sexual abuse of underage girls other than him.
The accusers in the case were teenagers when they were allegedly abused by Epstein at his properties in the United States and London.
Most of the conduct that formed the basis of the charges occurred in the 1990s.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City.Joe Schildhorn | Patrick McMullan | Getty Images
“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,” wrote U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a statement following the verdict.
“Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today’s result, possible,” he added.
Maxwell, who has been held in jail without bail since her arrest, declined to testify in her own defense, telling Judge Alison Nathan, “The government has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and so there’s no reason for me to testify.”
Jury deliberations began late in the day on Dec. 20, after a prosecutor and Maxwell’s lawyer gave closing arguments, and after the judge instructed jurors on the law to be applied in the case.
“She manipulated her victims and groomed them,” assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe told jurors in her closing argument.
“She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls. It is time to hold her accountable,” Moe said.