New York journalist Victoria Bekiempis is in court for Guardian US and here’s just one of her takes on the case this evening.

Federal prosecutor hails guilty verdict for 'one of the worst crimes imaginable'

29 Dec 2021 22:37

US attorney for the southern district of New York, Damien Williams, has put out a statement hailing the unanimous verdict against Maxwell, guilty on five charges, not guilty on one.

He said: “A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable, facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. Crimes that she committed with her long-time partner and co-conspirator Jeffrey Epstein.

“The road to justice has been far too long, but today justice has been done. I want to commend the bravery of the girls, now grown women, who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom.

“Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made today’s result in this case possible. I also want to thank the career prosecutors of the SDNY who embraced the victims’ quest for justice and have worked tirelessly day and day out to ensure Maxwell was held accountable for her crimes. This office will always stand with victims, will always follow the facts wherever they lead, and will always fight to ensure that no-one, no matter how powerful or well-connected is above the law.”

Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in sex-trafficking trial

29 Dec 2021 22:37

The jury has returned its verdict and it is guilty.

Read our full story below, and we’ll have more coming up on how the specific charges broke down.

Related: Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in sex-trafficking trial

29 Dec 2021 22:25

The jury rejected Ghislaine Maxwell’s claims that her accusers were making allegations against her as a form of exploitation of her position and wealth, for money, and were lying about her being involved in any their abuse.

The judge had also rejected Maxwell’s claims that she was being prosecuted as a scapegoat for the late Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse and told her team not to focus on that in closing arguments.

Epstein was a convicted sex offender who was awaiting trial in New York on further sex trafficking and sexual abuse crimes in 2019 when he killed himself in prison.

Jury reaches verdict in sex-trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell
29 Dec 2021 22:07

The jury is returning to the courtroom in New York after deliberating over the fate of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of abusing young girls alongside her late boyfriend and business associate, the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

We’ll bring you all the developments from court in our breaking news live blog, as they happen, as well as reactions online and both inside and outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan.

Here’s what’s at stake:

  • Maxwell, 60, had denied allegations that she, according to the prosecution, criminally preyed on vulnerable young girls as young as 14, “manipulated them and served them up to be sexually abused by Epstein”, also taking part in some of the abuse herself, between 1994 and 2004.
  • Testimony began on November 29. The trial was originally expected to take six weeks, but after the federal prosecution case lasted for two weeks, with four alleged victims giving evidence, the defense was over in two days. Maxwell chose not to testify.
  • Her lawyers portrayed her as a charismatic and generous boss whom younger women working for her and Epstein looked up to, and that women claiming to be victims have false memories or are just not telling the truth.
  • Ghislaine Maxwell is the daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell, who owned the UK’s Mirror newspapers and the New York Daily News. She met Epstein after moving to New York following her father’s sudden death in 1991.
  • She was arrested at a secluded luxury estate in New Hampshire last year and had been in custody in New York ever since, with the charges against her brought by federal prosecutors in New York. She has previously been sued in civil court but this was the first time she was charged with crimes.
  • Epstein, a sex offender previously convicted in Florida, whose rich and famous friends have included former US presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as Prince Andrewkilled himself in a New York City jail in 2019, while waiting on his own sex-trafficking trial on federal charges.
  • Maxwell had pleaded not guilty to six charges relating to: conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts; enticement of a minor for same; conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; transportation of a minor for same; sex trafficking conspiracy; sex trafficking of a minor.
  • Regardless of the outcome of this trial, Maxwell still faces two charges of perjury, accused of lying under oath in 2016 during a civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who says Epstein abused her. Giuffre alleged Maxwell had defamed her by saying she lied about Epstein. Giuffre was not a witness in this trial.