We’ll never know for sure that Jeffrey Epstein would have been found guilty of sex trafficking. Before he could go to trial, he died in prison, of “suicide.”
But now we have the best indicator we’ll ever get. The billionaire pedophile was in many ways tried in absentia through the trial of his alleged accomplice — and she was just found guilty!
On Wednesday the jury returned with a big ol’ guilty verdict for Ghislaine Maxwell, at least for five of the six charges she was facing in relation to Epstein’s sex trafficking ring from 1994 to 2004. The charges that stuck?
- Count 1: Conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Count 3: Conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Count 4: Transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Count 5: Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors
- Count 6: Sex trafficking of minors
OK, so what charge did the jury find her NOT GUILTY on?
That would be Count 2, enticement of an individual under the age of 17 to travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity. This was related to the witness known as Jane (three of the four victims wished to remain anonymous, so they went by pseudonyms). Jane testified that for years Maxwell and Epstein had flown her from Florida to New York and sexually abused her, together and with others in group scenarios. This included when she was a minor; Jane said she’d been as young as 14 years old when she’d had sex with both.
Did the jury not believe Jane? Actually, they must have. They found Ghislaine guilty of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. That, too, was in reference to Jane’s story. So it apparently was an issue with the legal definition of enticement that kept the jurors from pulling the trigger on that one. It was even reported that during deliberations, the jury sent a note asking the judge for a clarification of the definition of enticement. Ultimately we guess they didn’t think that one fit.
Not that it matters in the grand scheme. Just with the five charges she was convicted on, the socialite is facing up to 65 years in prison! For the 60-year-old that would be tantamount to life in prison.
Seems fair, considering all the lives she helped to ruin… Of course, we can’t help but notice that in this wide-reaching sex trafficking ring, which victimized girls for the pleasure of powerful men, the only person to face a reckoning thus far is… the only woman involved. Hmm.
It’s not the ideal outcome. That would be seeing Epstein’s smirk wiped away as he was found guilty — and then learning once and for all the names of all the co-conspirators who took part in the sexual abuse of young women.
That brings up a big question: why not now prosecute others whom the accusers named? Prince Andrew for instance? Well, the problem is, apparently, that there’s a statute of limitations on sexual abuse. Note that it was the federal charges — trafficking and transporting — that prosecutors were able to hit Maxwell with.
We’ll just have to hope that every other disgusting person who was involved now has to answer for it in civil court — and in public.
But hey, this is still huge. Each accuser said this was Maxwell helping Epstein. Like we said, if she’s guilty, he’s guilty. It’s a big deal for his many victims. David Boies, attorney for longtime accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, called it “a great day for justice and for Maxwell’s survivors”:
“The jury’s verdict vindicates the courage and commitment of our clients who stood up against all odds for many years to bring Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to justice.”
Hear, hear. Our hearts go out to the victims. Happy for them to get this win.
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