Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty of sex trafficking

A jury unanimously convicted Jeffrey Epstein’s close associate of all but one count. She faces up to 65 years in prison but a sentencing date has not yet been set.

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.

Maxwell was found not guilty of one count: enticement of an individual under the age of 17 to travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity. Jurors reached their verdict after 40 hours of deliberations over the course of six days.

The verdict marks a dramatic conclusion to an unexpectedly fast-moving trial: proceedings were originally expected to take at least six weeks. Prosecutors called 24 witnesses over 10 days, and defense attorneys called nine witnesses over two days.

Prosecutors said that Maxwell “preyed on vulnerable young girls, manipulated them and served them up to be sexually abused” by Epstein. There were four accusers in this case: Jane, Kate and Carolyn, who did not use their full names, and Annie Farmer.

The verdict means jurors agreed that Maxwell had conspired to lure, and shuttle, girls for illicit sexual activity – and that she had conspired to sex-traffick them. They agreed that Maxwell transported Jane for illegal sexual activity. The sex-trafficking count related specifically to Carolyn.

This article traces Maxwell’s life and her rise and fall.

I still do not understand why she did not flee to France when she had the chance. She must have known that she was being targeted for legal action, especially after Epstein killed himself in prison. Since she has French citizenship as well, it would not have been possible to extradite her to the US to face trial, since France does not allow its citizens to be extradited.


  1. John Morales says

    She seems like a calculating character, so it probably was a case of risk-reward and playing the odds.

    (Whoopsie! It was good while it lasted, but)

  2. brucegee1962 says

    Like many of us, I had hoped that the trial would answer, or at least address, the central question everyone had: how did Epstein make his money? Or to be even more succinct: was he the world’s most successful blackmailer?
    It is understandable that the prosecutors must have felt that would just muddy the waters. But absent the machinery of a court, and the likelihood that powerful people will want that question to be forever unanswered, I suppose now we will never know.

  3. sonofrojblake says

    I thought the question on most minds in the UK was “so is Andy definitely a paedo, or what?” which similarly went unanswered.

  4. says

    @ 3&4: Would a criminal trial have been the best venue to answer those questions? I suspect there can be ongoing investigations, both criminal and civil, that can dig into those subjects over time. Epstein himself is dead, so I’m not sure who else would be in a position to obstruct such investigations, or assert any “privacy” rights.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    @5 Raging Bee

    I remember reading, at Epstein’s arrest, that they opened a safe and found some DVDs inside. That was the last we heard about them. If you were a billionaire who wanted to make sure they were replaced by something innocuous in the police evidence locker, do you think you’d be able to pull it off?

    Well, it’s just possible that a prosecutor somewhere is preparing a raft of surprise prosecutions for people who showed up in recordings from that safe. I’m not holding my breath. Though I would be if I was that prosecutor — that is when you would start taking the precautions that you read about in spy novels, like having multiple copies in safe deposit boxes around town, ready to get mailed to media outlets if you have an unfortunate accident.

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