In her Manhattan federal court trial on Wednesday afternoon, Ghislaine Maxwell, a former socialite from England, was convicted of sex trafficking.
In July 2020, Maxwell was arrested and charged with participating in the sexual abuse of teenagers by her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, including some as young as 14.
Among the six charges she faced, Maxwell was convicted of five.
According to Manhattan US attorney Damian Williams, Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty by a unanimous jury of being involved in the sexual abuse of minors.
Throughout the reading of the verdict, Maxwell remained expressionless and looked forward. Maxwell poured herself a drink of water after judge Alison Nathan finished reading the verdict. She took a drink from the bottle of water in front of her.
Then Nathan asked the jurors whether they were unanimous in their verdict. From juror to juror, the microphone was passed, and all of them agreed it was appropriate. Jeffrey Pagliuca, one of Maxwell's lawyers, patted her on the back as he left.
Bobbi Sternheim, another one of Maxwell's lawyers, asked the judge if she could arrange for Maxwell to get a booster shot for Covid-19 after Nathan dismissed the jury.
Maxwell glanced rapidly at her siblings as she left the courtroom, who were sitting on the front row. At sentencing, Maxwell could face 65 years in prison.
It marks a dramatic ending to a trial that moved much faster than expected: it was initially expected to take at least six weeks. Over a period of 10 days, prosecutors called 24 witnesses, and defense attorneys called nine.
According to the prosecution, Maxwell exploited vulnerable young girls, manipulated them, and served them up to Epstein for exploitation. This case involved four accusers: Jane, Kate, Carolyn and Annie Farmer, who did not provide their full names.
She testified that Epstein began abusing her in 1994 when she was 14 - and that Maxwell sometimes stood by while the abuse occurred. Jane testified that Maxwell sometimes participated in the abuse. When she was 15 and 16, the abuse continued.
Maxwell and Kate met around 1994 when Kate was 17 years old in Paris. In the days following their first meeting, Maxwell invited Kate to her London townhouse for tea, and Epstein met her.
In a few weeks, Maxwell called Kate to say that Jeffrey wasn't able to get a massage because the massage therapist had canceled. She then proceeded to ask if Kate could give Epstein a massage.
According to Kate, Maxwell led her up to the second floor, where Epstein was dressed in a robe. Epstein initiated sexual contact after Maxwell closed the door and left them alone. Over the next several years, Kate saw Epstein every now and then.
In the early 2000s, when Carolyn was 14, she found herself in Maxwell and Epstein's company, staying at his Palm Beach mansion.
During the period between ages 14 and 18, Carolyn said she visited Epstein's home more than 100 times. She also described a physical encounter with Maxwell while setting up a massage table.
According to Annie Farmer, Maxwell gave her a nude massage at Epstein's New Mexico ranch when she was just 16 years old, and she did not testify under a pseudonym or first name.
When Farmer visited her sister, Maria, in New York City in late 1995, she met Epstein. Epstein had a studio in New York where Maria painted.
Her mother told the teen that she would be attending an educational retreat at Epstein's ranch in spring 1996.
Having had Epstein touch her hand in New York, Annie didn't want to go to the party, but felt better knowing a woman would be there: Maxwell.
As a result of the excursion, Maxwell offered to teach Annie how to massage Epstein's feet. Maxwell then told Annie she wanted her to experience a professional massage.
Maxwell's conviction means she conspired to lure, shuttle, and sex-traffick girls - and the jury agreed with her. The jury found that Maxwell transported Jane for sexual offenses. Carolyn was the target of the sex trafficking charge.