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Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty of sex trafficking and other charges

Thursday, December 30th 2021 - 09:30 UTC
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Maxwell now faces up to 65 years in jail Maxwell now faces up to 65 years in jail

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty Wednesday by a New York jury of five of the six counts brought against her, after nearly 40 hours of deliberation, it was reported.

The daughter of billionaire Robert Maxwell has been unanimously determined to have recruited adolescents aged as young as 14 for sexual exploitation in the 1990s and early 2000s at the late Jeffrey Epstein residences in Florida, New York and New Mexico. Epstein took his own life in his cell while awaiting trial.

Maxwell now faces up to 65 years in jail for grooming teenage girls for sexual encounters with Epstein between 1994 and 2004, following her arrest in 2020 at in a rural mansion where she was hiding. Sex trafficking, the most serious charge she faced, carries a maximum prison term of 40 years. Maxwell separately faces two perjury counts that will be tried at a later date. US District Judge Alison Nathan did not say when Maxwell would be sentenced.

Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said her client will appeal Wednesday's verdict. “We have already started working on the appeal, and we are confident that she will be vindicated,” Sternheim said outside of the courthouse.

But the judge has already dealt several blows to the defense - ruling, for example, that their witnesses could not testify anonymously as some of Maxwell's accusers did. Now the defense may argue that the judge violated federal rules of due process, which did have an impact on the trial's outcome.

The two perjury counts relate to allegations that Maxwell lied under oath about her role in Epstein's abuse during a deposition for a separate civil suit in 2016. The two perjury counts each carry a maximum prison sentence of five years.

In the meantime, Maxwell will return to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has been held in isolation since July 2020. Maxwell has said she has been served moldy food at the jail and that the smell of raw sewage has permeated her cell.

Categories: International.

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