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Tipsheet

Ghislaine Maxwell Is Found Guilty

AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

A jury on Wednesday found Ghislaine Maxwell "guilty" on five of six accounts for aiding her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein, in abusing teenage girls, including sex trafficking. The single count she was found "not guilty" on had to do with enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, which applied to just one of the four accusers.

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The trial centered around the testimony of four women who said Epstein had sexually abused them in the 1990s and 2000s when two of them were as young as 14 years old. One of the two victims said that Maxwell was present during the abuse and another said that Maxwell herself abused her.

While no sentencing date has been set yet, Maxwell could face 40 years alone for the sex trafficking charge. She was also found guilty of a charge regarding the transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, which she could face an additional 10 years for. Other charges had to do with conspiracy, which each carry a five year maximum sentence.

Live updates from The New York Times noted that the trial was expected to last potentially six weeks, though it lasted one month. 

Another live update from Ben Weiser indicated that "it appears the jurors spent a lot of time scrutinizing evidence and testimony involving Jane and were focused on Count 2, the enticement charge." 

Reports from December 28, just one day before the jury announced a verdict, indicated that Judge Alison Nathan had extended the deliberation hours, citing concerns regarding the Omicron variant, which has been hitting New York particularly hard where the trial was located. Judge Nathan had feared a mistrial if the jurors needed to quarantine. 

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Jurors had deliberated for five days before the verdict was reached. 

Maxwell was at one point the girlfriend and then the employee of Epstein, who had previously been convicted in 2008 in a Florida state court for child prostitution. He died in his cell in 2019 before he could be put on trial for the crimes Maxwell was found guilty of aiding him in. In fact, Maxwell's attorneys made it a point of their defense to try to distance their client from Epstein's crimes.

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