An important judicial page is turning. Or almost. After years evaporated in nature, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 on the east coast of the United States, and charged with acts of sex trafficking. Several former victims of Jeffrey Epstein, often minors at the time of the facts, and even sometimes, aged less than fifteen, accused the ex-girlfriend of the billionaire of having attracted them and recruited them as “masseuses” in order to have coerced sex with Epstein at his residences in Florida, New York or New Mexico.
Judged since the end of November by the Manhattan federal court on six counts, Ghislaine Maxwell was, Wednesday, November 29, convicted of sex crimes, in particular that of trafficking in young underage girls between 1994 and 2004. After 40 hours of deliberation over five days, “a unanimous jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable, facilitating and taking part in the sexual assault of children,” said in a statement on Manhattan court attorney Damian Williams, relayed BFM. These “crimes were perpetrated with his partner and lifelong accomplice, Jeffrey Epstein”, who died by suicide in prison in 2019, before being tried for sex crimes.
What sentence for Ghislaine Maxwell?
After pleading not guilty, Ghislaine Maxwell is now facing several decades in prison, while the jury, made up of six women and six men, had a hard time agreeing unanimously on a verdict. Depicted as a “sophisticated predator” by the prosecution, Ghislaine Maxwell was during her trial confronted with the testimonies of four women, three of whom were under pseudonyms. The 60-year-old pleaded not guilty and only spoke once to reaffirm that she was innocent. If the Ghislaine Maxwell component is now on trial, the Epstein affair is far from over. Next January, a New York judge will have to determine whether Prince Andrew, a friend of Jeffrey Epstein and the subject of a sexual assault and rape complaint filed by Virginia Roberts, will also go to justice.
Ghislaine Maxwell © Zuma Press