By Holly Matkin and Sandy Malone
New York, NY – A jury convicted Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime girlfriend Wednesday on five of the six counts levied against her in connection with her role in the sexual abuse of multiple minor girls as young as 14.
Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was indicted on six counts alleging she had conspired with Epstein and aided in his recruitment, enticement, and trafficking of underage girls between 1994 and 2004, according to ABC News.
Charging documents accused Maxwell of having played a “key role” in helping Epstein manage his multi-state sex trafficking scheme.
Prosecutors said Maxwell “befriended” and then “enticed and groomed multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein,” ABC News reported.
The complaint also alleged that Maxwell was also “present for and involved” in some of the abuse of the girls.
“Maxwell was among Epstein’s closest associates, and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old,” Audrey Strauss, then the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters when she announced Maxwell’s arrest in July of 2020.
Maxwell pleaded not guilty to enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three counts of conspiracy, CNN reported.
After a monthlong trial and five days of deliberation, the jury convicted her Wednesday of everything but enticing a minor to travel to engage in sexual acts.
She faces up to 65 years in prison, CNN reported.
Maxwell remained stoic after the verdict was read, according to the Associated Press.
Epstein’s long-time girlfriend had gone into hiding after he was arrested as he got off a flight from Paris in July of 2019, CNN reported.
But then Epstein was found dead in his jail cell on Aug. 10, 2019.
Epstein’s family hired a forensic pathologist to observe the autopsy, and former New York City Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden determined that the millionaire’s body showed more signs of homicide than suicide.
A federal investigation determined that the corrections officers tasked with guarding Epstein slept on the job and falsified check-in logs, and then the security videos of his apparent suicide went missing from the jail.
Two correctional officers were indicted in connection with Epstein’s death, charged with conspiracy and multiple counts of falsifying records.
Maxwell was arrested a year after Epstein was taken into custody, when federal authorities raided a rented home where she was living in New Hampshire.
The British socialite pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and claimed to be innocent, ABC News reported.
She was denied bail twice after having been deemed a flight risk.
Maxwell is the youngest daughter of notorious British publishing baron Robert Maxwell, ABC News reported.
She attended Oxford and then lived an extravagant lifestyle until her father died in 1991 and his business empire collapsed.
Maxwell relocated to New York and soon was seen cavorting with Epstein, a math teacher-turned-wealthy investor who socialized globally with celebrities, politicians, and business leaders, ABC News reported.
Pretrial court filings indicated that the prosecution planned to avoid most of the salacious, headline-grabbing accusations about Epstein and his girlfriend and present a “streamlined case focused primarily on the experiences” of the four women whose allegations were detailed in the indictment against Maxwell.
The four victims testified that Maxwell recruited and groomed them with gifts and that she made it a point to show interest in their struggles as teenage girls, the Associated Press reported.
She also promised them Epstein had the power and wealth to make their dreams come true, the victims said.
The women said they were coaxed into giving Epstein massages that ended up becoming sexual, and that Maxwell pretended the encounters were perfectly normal, the Associated Press reported.
One victim said she was just 14 when Epstein masturbated on her in his Palm Beach estate pool house.
Another victim said Maxwell arranged to have her give massages at Epstein’s home in exchange for $100 bills, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors described Maxwell as being Epstein’s “partner in crime,” and three of the victims who testified said she had personally touched them inappropriately when they were minors, according to Reuters.
“Ghislaine Maxwell made her own choices. She committed crimes hand-in-hand with Jeffrey Epstein. She was a grown woman who knew exactly what she was doing,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe said during the trial.