Ghislaine Maxwell, the longtime accomplice and companion of the disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein, was found guilty Wednesday by a jury on five of six federal counts against her.
According to the Daily Caller, those charges stemmed from her participation with Epstein in a conspiracy to groom, recruit, and sexually abuse young girls in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The crimes at the center of the charges included enticing minors to cross state lines to engage in illicit sexual activity, also known as child sex trafficking.
The charges each carried maximum sentences from five to 40 years in prison, and though a date for a sentencing hearing has yet to be set, Maxwell faces the very real prospect of spending the remainder of her life behind bars.
“A sophisticated predator”
The New York Post reports that federal prosecutors described Maxwell as a “sophisticated predator” working on behalf of and in conjunction with Epstein to prey upon young girls, often who had come from troubled or disadvantaged backgrounds.
“She was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said during closing arguments nearly two weeks ago, according to the Post. “She ran the same playbook again and again and again.”
At another point, Moe said Maxwell “was a grown woman who preyed on vulnerable kids.”
“She caused deep and lasting harm to young girls,” she added.
Prosecutors went to great lengths to show how Maxwell and Epstein were “partners” in the despicable crimes, and how Maxwell was integral in the operation. Maxwell’s defense attorneys, meanwhile, unsuccessfully argued that the whole trial was nothing more than a proxy effort to bring accountability to Epstein, who is reported to have killed himself while awaiting trial in a New York City jail.
“No one is above the law”
The Associated Press reports that the jury in Maxwell’s trial deliberated for five days prior to returning the five guilty verdicts and one acquittal.
In addition to sentencing on these charges, Maxwell is also awaiting trial on a pair of federal perjury charges, to say nothing of a host of other civil lawsuits that remain pending.
“She has caused hurt to many more women than the few of us who had the chance to testify in the courtroom,” Annie Farmer, one of the four victims who testified, said in a statement following the verdict, according to the AP. “I hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law. Even those with great power and privilege will be held accountable when they sexually abuse and exploit the young.”