Jury finds Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five counts

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and longtime associate of late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted on five counts on Wednesday by a jury after about a week of deliberations.

The Manhattan jury found Maxwell guilty on five out of six counts against her, The Associated Press reported, including enticing minors to travel to engage in sex acts, transporting minors with the intent of having them engage in criminal sexual activity and perjury.

She was found not guilty on one count of enticing a minor to travel to engage illegal sex acts.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors have accused Maxwell, 60, of grooming numerous girls to be abused and sex trafficked for Epstein. The government's case was centered around four victims who said they were abused as teenagers at Epstein's many properties across the country.

According to the accusers, Maxwell approached them and took them shopping or to movies to build trust. But they would soon be asked to massage Epstein or be sent to rooms alone with the billionaire.

One accuser who used her real name, Annie Farmer, accused Maxwell of molesting her by touching her breasts and crawling into bed with her, the AP reported.

Maxwell did not testify in the trial herself, telling U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan that there was "no need" for her to do so.

Maxwell's defense team has argued that the accusers' memories have been distorted by time and lawyers seeking payouts from Epstein's estate. They also accused prosecutors of using Maxwell as a scapegoat, since Epstein killed himself while awaiting his own trial.

The British heiress potentially faces decades in prison. The AP noted that she is still awaiting another trial for two counts of perjury.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a statement, "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 this case, and today’s result, possible," Williams said.

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