By Brianna Lyman
Ghislaine Maxwell, British socialite and accomplice of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was found guilty Wednesday on five of the six counts against her.
Maxwell was found guilty of conspiring with Epstein to groom, recruit and sexually abuse underage girls, a jury found. She was found guilty on several counts of conspiring to entice minors to travel across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity and conspiring to sex traffic minors. Maxwell was acquitted on count two, which was enticing accuser “Jane” to travel with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, according to the The New York Times (NYT).
The sixth count, trafficking then-minor “Carolyn,” carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, according to the NYT. The fourth count, transporting “Jane” to engage in illegal sexual activity, carries a maximum of 10 years, according to the report. The other three conspiracy counts reportedly each carry a maximum sentence of 5 years each.
Closing arguments in Maxwell’s case began Dec. 20, after a three-week trial.
Prosecutors argued “Maxwell and Epstein were a wealthy couple who used their privilege to prey on kids from struggling families,” according to CNN. “The way that they selected these girls tells you that they were targeting vulnerable kids. It is not an accident that Jane and Kate and Annie and Carolyn all came from single-mother households.”
Maxwell’s defense argued the trial was a proxy trial against Epstein. (RELATED: Ian Maxwell Suggests His Sister Ghislaine Believes Epstein Was Murdered)
“She’s being tried here for being with Jeffrey Epstein, and maybe that was the biggest mistake of her life, but it was not a crime,” Maxwell attorney Laura Menninger reportedly argued.
Maxwell faced six federal charges in relation to allegedly grooming four girls during the 1990’s and into the 2000’s; three counts of conspiracy, sex trafficking of minors, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Maxwell pleaded not guilty to all charges.