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A jury in New York City found Maxwell, 60, guilty on five of six federal counts related to sex trafficking and sexual abuse. Throughout the trial, prosecutors told jurors that the disgraced British socialite recruited and groomed teen girls as part of Epstein’s pyramid of sexual abuse. Epstein, 66, died in a Manhattan jail cell in August of 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges stemming from allegations made by dozens of victims.
Following Wednesday’s conviction, victims of the duo are speaking out.
Virginia Giuffre, who has been vocal for years about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell, took to Twitter on Wednesday to react to the news.
“My soul yearned for justice for years and today the jury gave me just that. I will remember this day always,” she tweeted. “Having lived with the horrors of Maxwell’s abuse, my heart goes out to the many other girls and young women who suffered at her hands and whose lives she destroyed.”
She added, “I hope that today is not the end but rather another step in justice being served. Maxwell did not act alone. Others must be held accountable. I have faith that they will be.”
While Giuffre was not one of the four accusers to testify against Maxwell in court, she has been one of Epstein’s most outspoken accusers, publicly alleging the now-deceased financier of sex trafficking her on numerous occasions, including to Great Britain's Prince Andrew. She has filed a federal civil lawsuit against the Royal for allegedly sexually abusing her when she was 17 while in the company of Epstein and Maxwell. Depositions in connection with that lawsuit are expected to begin early next year. Prince Andrew has denied the allegation.
Annie Farmer, who testified at Maxwell’s trial that she was sexually abused by her and Epstein when she was 16, reacted to the verdict by stating, “I am so relieved and grateful that the jury recognized the pattern of predatory behavior that Maxwell engaged in for years and found her guilty of her crimes,” the New York Post reports.
“She has caused hurt to many more women than the few of us who had the chance to testify in the courtroom,” Farmer stated. “I hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law.”
Lisa Bloom, who represents eight of Epstein’s victims, told the New York Post that her “clients and I were moved to tears that this day has finally come.”
She said she hopes Maxwell will “never walk free again.”
Maxwell still awaits trial on two counts of perjury. Her conviction is likely to result in a significant prison sentence. Amongst the charges she was convicted of on Wednesday, were transportation of minors to engage in criminal sexual activity and sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud or coercion.
“This is a great day for all of the Epstein and Maxwell survivors,” attorney David Boise, who represents about a dozen victims, told the New York Post on Wednesday.
“This is a verdict that is a victory for those survivors,” he said. “They deserve the credit. The vindication is theirs.”
For more on the case, watch Peacock’s “Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell.”
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