Jurors have reached a verdict in the case of Ghislaine Maxwell, the former British socialite accused of helping dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein mount a “pyramid scheme of abuse” involving underage girls.
Maxwell, who turned 60 on Christmas Day, faced six counts, including two related to sex trafficking and four tied to an alleged conspiracy to entice and transport minor girls for Epstein to abuse.
Over the course of the last three weeks, the jury heard from about 30 witnesses, including the four accusers who claim they were abused by Epstein with Maxwell’s help as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s — Jane, Kate, Carolyn and Annie Farmer.
“She was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing,” Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe told jurors Monday as they closed out their case. “She ran the same playbook again and again and again.”
Maxwell denies the charges, arguing that prosecutors are using her as a scapegoat for their failure to bring Epstein to trial before he killed himself in a federal lockup in August 2019, one month after his arrest on sex-trafficking charges.
“Ghislaine Maxwell is an innocent woman, wrongfully accused of crimes she did not commit,” defense lawyer Laura Menninger argued.
“She’s being tried here for being with Jeffrey Epstein. Maybe that’s the biggest mistake of her life, but it’s not a crime,” Menninger added. “Ghislaine Maxwell is not Jeffrey Epstein.”
The Oxford-educated heiress — youngest child to the late publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell — has been held in a Brooklyn jail since she was arrested at a $1 million New Hampshire estate in July 2020.
She faces 70 years behind bars if convicted on all counts.