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Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty on 5 of 6 counts in sex trafficking trial

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Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five of six charges related to a sex trafficking scheme in which she was accused of grooming young girls to be abused by her boyfriend, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. File Photo by Rick Bajornas/EPA-EFE
Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five of six charges related to a sex trafficking scheme in which she was accused of grooming young girls to be abused by her boyfriend, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. File Photo by Rick Bajornas/EPA-EFE

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty Wednesday on sex trafficking charges that accused her of grooming young girls for sexual abuse.

The jury found Maxwell, 60, guilty on five of six counts relating to the sex trafficking scheme in which she is accused of procuring young girls to be sexually abused by her boyfriend, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

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Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking of minors, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related conspiracy counts.

She faces up to 65 years in prison.

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"A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable -- facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. "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."

Williams also commended the "bravery" of the women who testified against Maxwell.

"Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today's result possible," he said.

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Jurors deliberated over the case for six days, as Judge Alison Nathan asked them on Tuesday to extend their hours and potentially work through the New Year's holiday weekend fearing jurors or trial participants could become ill with COVID-19 as the virus spreads rapidly throughout the nation.

During the trial, prosecutors called Maxwell a "sophisticated predator" who "manipulated her victims and groomed them for sexual abuse." Annie Farmer and three other women identified as Carolyn, Kate and Jane testified that Maxwell brought them to Epstein's mansion to perform sexualized massages for him after meeting them as teenagers.

Prosecutors said Maxwell was motivated by money to participate in Epstein's sex trafficking scheme and showed the court bank records indicating Epstein had paid Maxwell about $30.7 million between 1999 and 2007.

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Maxwell's attorneys argued that the case was an attempt to pin Epstein's crimes on their client after Epstein died by suicide while awaiting trial.

They also sought to discredit the testimony of Maxwell's accusers, saying they had pervasive "lapses in memory" and provided information with logical inconsistencies.

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