One of the year’s many high-profile court cases came to a conclusion on Wednesday. Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of helping her late ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein sexual assault minors, was found guilty of five of the six counts filed against her.
Maxwell had been accused of recruiting and grooming four underage girls for Epstein between 1994 and 2004. (Epstein died in prison in 2019, reportedly of suicide.) During the trial’s closing arguments, Manhattan prosecutor Allison Moe referred to her as Epstein’s “partner-in-crime.” She added, “Ghislaine Maxwell made her own choices. She committed crimes hand in hand with Jeffrey Epstein. She was a grown woman who knew exactly what she was doing,”
Maxwell’s attorneys tried to argue that their client was being used as a scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes.
Epstein and Maxwell dated for several years in the ‘90s. Shortly after Epstein’s death, Maxwell bought home in New Hampshire for $1 million in cash. She remained out of the public eye until she was arrested in July of 2020. She made much out of what she claimed were unfair and “onerous” treatment in prison.
The trial itself didn’t have the melodramatic turns of the ones for Kyle Rittenhouse (who was acquitted) and Jussie Smollett (who was not). Among the more shocking revelations were the names of people who fraternized with Epstein, including Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker. There was also grim testimony from the four women Maxwell helped groom, two of whom said they were 14 when Epstein’s abuse began. Three of them said Maxwell had inappropriately touched them.
Maxwell could face up to 70 years in prison. It was reported over the summer that another Epstein associate, Donald Trump, once considering pardoning her before his single term ended.