Maxwell family begins appeal process over Ghislaine guilty verdicts

Maxwell family begins appeal process over Ghislaine guilty verdicts

THE FAMILY of English socialite Ghislaine Maxwell who was yesterday found guilty for her role in luring children to engage in sexual acts has said that they are disappointed with the verdict and have already begun the appeal process against the verdict.

The full indictment against Maxwell listed six charges, including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

The 60-year-old was labelled "dangerous" by the prosecution during her three-week trial, and helped entice vulnerable teenagers to now dead financier Jeffrey Epstein's various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

She was also accused of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of a minor and lying under oath by hiding her participation in Epstein's offences during a separate civil case.

In a statement on a Twitter run her brothers and sisters, they said they "firmly believe" in Maxwell's innocence and ultimately believe she will be vindicated.

In an article written for The Spectator earlier this month, her brother Ian said his sister "has been loudly maligned" throughout the court case.

"We all have intense sympathy for those who are victims of abuse — yet throughout the trial, Ghislaine has been loudly maligned," he said. "These detractors include those who have not been called as witnesses and whose claims have not been tested in court under oath.

"During the trial, certain media accounts have suggested that the prosecution has fumbled its case. But this is to perpetuate the trope of Ghislaine's guilt in the court of public opinion. This narrative does not admit the possibility that the government has simply not had the evidence."

During the trial's closing arguments last week, a prosecutor said Maxwell was Epstein's "partner in crime".

"Ghislaine Maxwell made her own choices. She committed crimes hand in hand with Jeffrey Epstein. She was a grown woman who knew exactly what she was doing," Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe said.

Maxwell's attorneys argued she was being used as a scapegoat for Epstein and sought to portray the accounts of her four accusers as not credible, saying their memories had been corrupted over the decades and that they were motivated by money.

"Epstein's death left a gaping hole in the pursuit of justice for many of these women," Maxwell's defense lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said. "She's filling that hole, and filling that empty chair."

She was found guilty on five of the six counts she was facing, and will likely spend the rest of her life in prison. Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors carries a maximum 40-year sentence, with the lesser charges having terms of five or 10 years.

A statement from the US attorney's office released following the verdict said:

"A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable - facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. 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. 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."