The jury came back with a verdict in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, the associate of the notorious Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell is charged with six counts in a federal trial that has dragged on for weeks in a New York City courtroom.
On these counts, the jury found Maxwell guilty of 5 of 6 counts. She was found guilty of everything but one count of enticement. Maxwell was found guilty on count one, of conspiracy to entice an individual under the age of 17 to travel interstate with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity. This could bring a sentence of 5 years in prison.
Maxwell was found not guilty on count two, enticement of an individual under the age of 17 to travel for the purposes of engaging in illegal sexual activity. She was found guilty on the remainder of the charges.
She was found guilty of sex trafficking conspiracy, and sex trafficking of an individual under the age of 18. She could be sentenced to a maximum of 40 years in prison for that, though for the full collection of charges she could be looking at 65 years in prison.
Some documents pertaining to Epstein's network were ordered sealed by the court earlier this month. Many luminaries, from celebrities to prominent politicians and royals were alleged to have partied with Epstein and his cadre of young women. These encounters allegedly took place in Florida and New York as well as on Epstein's private island.
His private plane, used to transport big shots to the island, was termed the Lolita Express. Former President Bill Clinton was among those to have been reported to be involved with Epstein, as was Bill Gates.
A pilot who flew the plane dropped the names of some of those he witnessed aboard the plane, including Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Chris Tucker, former Senators George Mitchell and John Glenn, and famous violinist Itzhak Perlman, among others.
The charges against Maxwell were sex trafficking of a minor, enticing a minor to travel for the purposes of criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor for the purpose of criminal sexual activity, and an additional three charges of conspiracy.
The trial saw numerous witnesses who testified as to their participation with Epstein in sexual activity while they were minors. Maxwell was noted by these witnesses as having been knowledgeable and aware of what was going on.
One woman now in her 40s and going by the pseudonym Jane, testified that she was approached by both Maxwell and Epstein when she was attending summer camp in Michigan in 1994. They claimed to have a scholarship available for her, and stayed in touch once she went home to Palm Beach, Florida.
She testified that Maxwell would take her to the movies and that she spent time with Epstein and Maxwell at Epstein's pool. Maxwell was described by prosecutors as "grooming" girls for Epstein. Her first sexual encounter with Epstein was at his pool when she was 14, in Palm Beach.
"He pulled me on top of himself and proceeded to masturbate on me," Jane said. "I was terrified and felt gross and I felt ashamed."
Jane said that Maxwell and Epstein showed her how to massage Epstein, which massages them morphed into sexual activity. Maxwell, Jane testified, took part in touching her sexually also. Maxwell was "very casual" during these interactions, Jane said..
Maxwell's trial was at risk of a delay due to Covid concerns, said Judge Alison Nathan on Tuesday, but the jury proceeded with their deliberations.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.