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Ghislaine Maxwell Has Been Found Guilty On Five Counts

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Ghislaine Maxwell Has Been Found Guilty On Five Counts

A jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five of the six counts she had been charged with.

The only count she wasn't convicted on was 'Enticement of an Individual Under the Age of 17 (Jane only) to Travel with Intent to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity'.

The jury instead convicted her of conspiracy to entice and transport individuals under 17 with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, as well as sex trafficking of individuals under the age of 17 and 18.

Maxwell, 59, has denied grooming underage girls for abuse by late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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She is accused of recruiting and grooming four teenagers for Epstein between 1994 and 2004, with the accusers - now women in their 30s and 40s - sharing emotional testimonies in the three-week trial.

The jury began deliberating on Monday 20 December over whether the British socialite set up teenage girls herself, or if she is a scapegoat for Epstein.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Following several weeks of testimony, the 12 jurors and five alternates were told by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan: "Your function is to weigh the evidence in the case and to determine whether or not the government has proved that Ms. Maxwell is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

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The jury withdrew for an hour of deliberations on Monday evening, before returning on Tuesday to continue.

Prosecutor Alison Moe said in her closing argument that Maxwell as Epstein's 'partner in crime', and that she had helped him abuse underage girls as a means to maintain her opulent lifestyle.

"Epstein could not have done this alone," Moe said.

"When that man is accompanied by a posh, smiling, respectable, age-appropriate woman, that's when everything starts to seem legitimate.

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"And when that woman... acts like it's totally normal for that man to touch those girls, it lures them into a trap."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Defence attorney Laura Menninger countered that Maxwell was an 'innocent woman', saying prosecutors were targeting her as Epstein is no longer alive, having been found dead in a jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

According to Reuters, Menninger also argued that the accusers' memories have been corrupted over the decades, and that they were motivated by money to implicate Maxwell - with all four saying they received money from a victims' compensation fund established by Epstein's estate, which paid out more than $121 million to around 138 people.

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"They all changed their stories when the Epstein victims' compensation fund was opened up," Menninger told the jury.

"That should make you hesitate."

Maxwell has been held in a US jail without a chance of bail since she was arrested in July 2020.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, US News, crime

Jess Hardiman
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