The Jury Has Spoken in the United States v. Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell, 60 years old and originally from Britain, was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years in prison for procuring teen girls that were pimped out by Jeffrey Epstein. She maintains her innocence but will not be able to make any excuses as she serves her time behind bars.
Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender and American financier, whose elite associates once included Prince Andrew of Britain, former President Bill Clinton, former President Donald Trump, and Kevin Spacey (charged earlier this week on 4 charges of sexual assault in the UK), was captured by federal authorities in July 2019 on charges related to human sex trafficking. He committed suicide one month after his arrest.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys tried to push for leniency in sentencing, saying that it should be “well below” the 20 years recommended by federal probation officials. The prosecution argued in United States v. Ghislaine Maxwell for a 30-55 year prison, term while Maxwell herself said she only wants “to do good things.”
The former British socialite was convicted on 29 December on five of the six charges that she faced. After 40 hours’ worth of jury discussions spanning 6 days, they came to their decision and found Maxwell guilty of sex trafficking.
Maxwell was convicted not only of sex trafficking but also of conspiracy to entice individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with the intent of engaging in illegal sexual activity – which is illegal even if it’s just for something as simple and innocent like going on vacation. In addition, she was convicted for transportation of an individual under the age of 17 with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of individuals under the age of 18.
Ghislaine Maxwell had an unsettled demeanor as she was escorted into the courtroom. She frequently touched her hair, sometimes tucking it behind her ears and scratching herself discreetly throughout this 3-hour proceeding.
The former media heiress looked at her three siblings who were seated behind her in court – Isabel, Christine, and Kevin- multiple times. The former media darling wore drab gray-blue jail scrubs with a white undershirt while she turned many times to gaze upon them from afar during this trial session.
When asked to provide an apology for her actions, Maxwell stood at a lectern and said: “I empathize deeply with all of the victims in this case,” before going on to acknowledge that she has been convicted for helping Jeffrey Epstein commit these crimes.
“And despite the many helpful and positive things I have done in my life and will continue to do … I know that my association with Epstein and this case will forever and permanently stain me. Maxwell tried to pin the blame on Epstein.
“Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you, he should have stood before you all those years ago, he should have stood before you in 2005, again in 2009, and again in 2019,” Maxwell continued, adding shortly thereafter, “I am sorry for the pain that you experienced …”
In United States v. Maxwell, 20-CR-330 (AJN), The Pimp Attempted To Paint Herself As Jeffrey Epstein’s Victim
The four accusers in the trial were Jane, Kate, and Carolyn, who did not use their full names during proceedings, as well as Annie Farmer.
When Jane was just 14 years old, she first met Epstein. He began sexually abusing her and sometimes Maxwell would participate as well. “There were hands everywhere,” she said of an incident with both Epstein and Maxwell. She alleged this abuse also took place when she was 15 years old.
Kate said that she had met Ghislaine Maxwell in Paris around 1994, at 17. She asked for her phone number and invited the teen over to her London townhouse soon after they met; then she introduced her to her partner Epstein at a subsequent meeting. A few weeks later, she received a phone call from Maxwell, where she was told: “Jeffrey was meant to get a massage but the massage therapist had canceled. Could I do her a favor and come over … because I had strong hands.”
Kate told the court that Maxwell led her upstairs, where she found Epstein in only a robe. Maxwell shut the door to leave her alone with the man. He immediately began sexual contact with her, and she claims to have seen him several times annually for the next few years.
Carolyn testified that she fell into Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein’s abusive world around the early 2000s, when she was 14, at his Palm Beach mansion. Carolyn stated she traveled to Epstein’s house “over 100 times” between the ages of 14 and 18, and recalled a physical encounter with Maxwell while getting a massage table ready.
“I was getting fully nude, and she came in and felt my boobs and my hips and my buttocks and said … that I had a great body for Mr. Epstein and his friends. She just said that I had a good body type,” Carolyn testified.
When she was just 16 years old, Annie Farmer got a nude massage from Maxwell at Epstein’s sprawling New Mexico estate. She met him when she visited her sister in New York City in late 1995 – an artistic painter who worked for the billionaire sex offender.
These 4 women are only a small fraction of the victims affected by Ghislaine Maxwell’s criminal behavior since the 1990s
The conviction in United States v. Ghislaine Maxwell could have been thrown into disarray after one juror, Scotty David, revealed he had experienced sexual abuse as a child.
When asked about his experience as a victim, David shared that he had informed the other panelists so they could see things from this perspective. This led to many questions regarding the process for selecting jurors, where potential members were quizzed on their history of abuse before being allowed into selection pools.
The questionnaire for prospective jurors asked: “Have you or a friend ever been the victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or sexual assault?” The prosecution requested that judge Alison Nathan investigate; Maxwell’s lawyers also asked for another trial claiming David should never have sat on this panel.
Nathan rejected Maxwell’s request for a new trial based on David’s mistake, saying she believed his answer to be truthful and “would not have been stricken for cause even if he had answered each question on the questionnaire accurately”.