Ghislaine Maxwell, a known associate of notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was found guilty on five of six counts related to sex trafficking minors yesterday. Maxwell, 60, now faces a maximum of 65 years in prison.
Maxwell was found guilty on the most serious charge of the six she faced: sex trafficking a minor. During the trial, a woman named Carolyn, who only used her first name publically, testified that Maxwell arranged appointments to give Epstein sexual massages when Carolyn was 14. Her testimony convinced the jury that Maxwell had recruited Carolyn to engage in sex acts with Epstein and convince other minors to do the same.
Maxwell's lawyers pushed a defense that Maxwell was on trial for Epstein's crimes and attempted to paint the four key accusers brought forward as having faulty memories. The verdict, reached in only 10 days, proved a rejection of that defense.
Bobbi C. Sternheim, one of Maxwell's lawyers, said outside the courthouse, "We firmly believe in Ghislaine’s innocence. Obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict. We have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated."
The verdict spurred an unsurprised reaction from social media, as much of the public seemed already convinced of Maxwell's guilt. Many called for further investigation to those connected to Epstein and Maxwell, though the Department of Justice ordered that Maxwell's book of contacts not be made public.
Ghislaine Maxwell convicted. Long overdue justice for victims. Don’t forget how Alex Acosta gave Epstein a virtual free pass over a decade ago.
Also: this shouldn’t be over yet. Prosecutors need to hold other powerful players to account. This wasn’t a two-person operation.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) December 29, 2021
A lot of very influential and rich men slept with children because Maxwell arranged it all. The survivors deserve better than having prosecution seal records and not pursue justice.
— Buzz Patterson (@BuzzPatterson) December 29, 2021
Maxwell trafficked these girls to somebody. Hold each and every one of those somebodies accountable.
— Julie Roginsky (@julieroginsky) December 29, 2021
Let’s be clear, the powerful and rich clients of Ghislaine Maxwell should also be prosecuted and taken down, not just her. She may have provided the illegal services, but those who purchased such services are just as guilty. Who agrees? ✋
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) December 30, 2021
The verdict marks an end to another chapter in the Epstein trial, which many see as potentially volatile to an untold number of global elites that Epstein associated with. Epstein's 2019 suicide in prison proved the berth of many conspiracy theories, as an alarming amount of suspicious circumstances surrounding his death led many to believe he was killed for the damning information he knew about people in power.