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Epstein’s sidekick convicted on five of the six charges in sex trafficking case

Eva Policastro protests outside the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse as the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell begins in New York on November 29, 2021. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP)

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking in a court in the United States and convicted on five of the six charges she faced.

The ruling was issued in a federal court trial in Manhattan, New York.

Maxwell had accused of acting as a pimp for disgraced pedophile Jeffery Epstein by procuring underage girls for his sexual gratification.

Following the guilty verdict, Damian Williams, the Manhattan US attorney, said in a statement: “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,” William also said. “Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today’s result, possible.”

The jury had asked for transcripts of the testimonies of five witnesses.

In two separate notes issued, the jurors requested to see the testimonies from five witnesses to help them with their deliberations.

An ex-boyfriend of one Maxwell accuser, Shawn, Maxwell's former assistant at Jeffrey Epstein's New York office in the late 1990s, Cimberly Espinosa, two FBI agents, Amanda Young and Jason Richards, plus a psychologist who testified about human memory, Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, are the five witnesses.

Judge Alison Nathan urged the jurors that deliberations should go through the New Year's holiday given the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

"We now face a high and escalating risk that jurors and trial participants may need to quarantine," the judge wrote in a note on Wednesday, "thus disrupting trial, putting at risk our ability to complete this trial."

Maxwell, who was arrested at her secluded mansion in New Hampshire in July 2020, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of sex trafficking in relation to recruitment of girls for Epstein.

Epstein allegedly committed suicide in prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, more than a decade after his conviction for soliciting prostitution from minors.

Maxwell allegedly introduced Epstein to a dizzying array of wealthy and powerful figures, notably Prince Andrew.

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