Judge upholds Ghislaine Maxwell’s intercourse trafficking conviction

NEW YORK — A decide concluded Friday that there was sufficient proof to convict British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell of intercourse trafficking women for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, however she additionally gave Maxwell a authorized victory by concluding that three conspiracy counts charged the identical crime and she will be able to solely be sentenced for one.

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan mentioned in her written ruling that the jury’s responsible verdicts had been “readily supported” by in depth witness testimony and documentary proof at a one-month trial that concluded in December.

Attorneys for Maxwell had requested her to reject the decision on a number of grounds, together with inadequate proof.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted of recruiting teenage women for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse from 1994 to 2004.

Nathan mentioned that she’ll solely sentence Maxwell in late June on three of the 5 counts she was convicted on after concluding that two conspiracy counts had been duplicates of the third.

“This legal conclusion in no way calls into question the factual findings made by the jury. Rather, it underscores that the jury unanimously found — three times over — that the Defendant is guilty of conspiring with Epstein to entice, transport, and traffic underage girls for sexual abuse,” Nathan wrote.

The discount of counts from 5 to a few was not anticipated to have a lot impact on the sentencing, when Maxwell might face a sentence starting from a number of years to many years in jail.

Attorneys for Maxwell didn’t return messages requesting remark. Prosecutors declined remark.

Earlier this month, the decide refused to toss out Maxwell’s conviction after a juror disclosed to other jurors throughout jury deliberations that he had been sexually abused as a toddler although he had not revealed that truth in response to questions on prior intercourse abuse posed in a written questionnaire.

The juror had mentioned he “skimmed way too fast” by the questionnaire and didn’t deliberately give the improper reply to a query about intercourse abuse.

In refusing to toss the verdict, Nathan mentioned the juror’s failure to reveal his prior sexual abuse in the course of the jury choice course of was extremely unlucky, however not deliberate.

The decide additionally concluded the juror “harbored no bias toward the defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror.”

Maxwell, arrested in July 2020, has remained incarcerated. Epstein was 66 when he took his own life in a federal jail cell in August 2019 as he awaited a intercourse trafficking trial.

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