- As per the New York City jury, Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite, was found guilty of assisting her former boyfriend in grooming underage girls for sexual abuse.
According to a New York City jury, Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite, and heiress who dated convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was found guilty of assisting her former boyfriend grooming underage girls for sexual abuse.
Maxwell was found guilty of five of the six felony charges she faced, including recruiting, enticing, and transporting minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein, by a jury on Wednesday. The accusations were laid out in an indictment that included allegations from four different accusers, each charged with a different crime.
Before reaching a decision, the jury deliberated for a sixth day.
Since her arrest by the FBI in July 2020, Maxwell, now 60, has been detained in Brooklyn, New York. She quickly pleaded not guilty to the charges and has consistently denied any wrongdoing. On Nov. 29, her trial began with opening arguments.
Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender was arrested on sex trafficking charges a year ago but committed suicide while awaiting trial after hanging himself in a jail cell.
Following Maxwell’s arrest last year, then-US Attorney Audrey Strauss detailed some of the allegations against her, claiming that she assisted Epstein in “identifying, befriending, and minor grooming victims of abuse,” including girls as young as 14 and that she sometimes “participated in the abuse herself.”
Maxwell and Epstein, according to Strauss, would take girls to the movies and on shopping trips while pretending to be interested in them.
“After establishing a rapport with the victims, Maxwell attempted to normalize sexual abuse with a minor victim through a process known as grooming,” according to Strauss, who claims Maxwell would discuss sexual topics with the girls, undress in front of them, and be present for sex acts involving the girls and Epstein.
According to Strauss, sexual contact between the victims and Epstein would frequently begin with “sexualized messages,” during which the underage girls would be fully or partially nude. She went on to say that the massages opened the door for more sexual encounters, “where Maxwell was sometimes present and participated.”
Early this month, Sarah Ransome, an Epstein survivor, told PEOPLE, “It was Ghislaine who was the real enforcer.” “She was in charge of enforcing the rules. She worked as a groomer. She was in charge of everything.”
Maxwell was convicted of conspiring to entice teenagers to travel in interstate commerce with the intent to involve in illegal sexual activity, conspiring to transport minors in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, and conspiring to commit minor sex trafficking.
A jury convicted her not guilty of luring a minor to travel with the intent of engaging in illegal sexual activity.