Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking victim ‘relieved and grateful’ as Maxwell family starts appeal

One of Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers has said she is “relieved and grateful” the jury decided to convict the former socialite of sex trafficking as Maxwell’s family say they will appeal the verdict.

On Wednesday a New York jury found Maxwell guilty of five out of six counts of sex trafficking, including transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. She was found not guilty of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.

Annie Farmer, one of the women who testified at her trial said she was “so relieved and grateful that the jury recognised [her] pattern of predatory behaviour.”

“I hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law,” she said.

Virginia Giuffre, 38, who was at the centre of sex trafficking allegations brought against Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, but was not called on to testify, said the decision “gave her justice”.

“My soul yearned for justice for years and today the jury gave me just that. I will remember this day always,” Ms Giuffre said.

“Having lived with the horrors of Maxwell’s abuse, my heart goes out to the many other girls and young women who suffered at her hands and whose lives she destroyed.

“I hope that today is not the end but rather another step in justice being served. Maxwell did not act alone. Others must be held accountable. I have faith that they will be.”

A verdict was reached after five full days of deliberation by a 12-stong jury in New York, who found the 60-year-old guilty on five of six counts.

It ended a month-long trial featuring accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14, told by four women who described being abused as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico.

Maxwell’s former boyfriend Epstein killed himself in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges of his own. During the trial’s closing arguments in federal court in Manhattan a prosecutor said Maxwell was Epstein’s “partner in crime”.

Related Stories

Ms Giuffre has said in civil lawsuits that Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her while she was a teenager. She has also accused Prince Andrew of forcing her to have sex more than two decades ago at the London home of Maxwell, and abusing her at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands. He denies any wrongdoing.

A hearing is scheduled in January in a civil sexual assault lawsuit brought by Ms Giuffre against Prince Andrew, 61. He has repeatedly denied the allegations, and in his latest attempt to quash the case, his lawyers sought to question whether Ms Giuffre was legally entitled to pursue it as she lives in Australia and is not a US citizen.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, told MailOnline that Prince Andrew “should be quaking in his boots” following Maxwell’s conviction.

“Because this shows that a jury is willing to come back with a guilty verdict even if the accusers are not perfect, as no human being is.

“Even if there were grounds for cross-examination, which there were, they looked to the essence of the story and they found that Ghislaine Maxwell was guilty of sex trafficking.”

Maxwell’s family announced following the verdict they have already started the appeals process. In a statement released by journalist Jay Beecher, they said: “We believe firmly in our sister’s innocence—we are very disappointed with the verdict. We have already started the appeal tonight…and we believe that she will ultimately be vindicated”.

Her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim told reporters “we firmly believe in Ghislaine’s innocence,” shortly after the verdict.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.