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Ghislaine Maxwell fails to overturn sex trafficking conviction

Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking charges (US Department of Justice/PA)
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking charges (US Department of Justice/PA)

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has failed to overturn her conviction for sex trafficking girls for US financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.

New York District Judge Alison Nathan said in a written ruling that the jury’s guilty verdicts were “readily supported” by extensive witness testimony and documentary evidence at a one-month trial that concluded in December.

Lawyers for Maxwell had asked her to reject the verdict on multiple grounds, including insufficient evidence.

Ghislaine Maxwell court case
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of helping American financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls (US Department of Justice/PA)

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

However, Judge Nathan said that she will only sentence Maxwell in late June on three of the five counts she was convicted on after concluding that two conspiracy counts were duplicates of the third.

Earlier this month, the judge refused to throw out Maxwell’s conviction after a juror disclosed to other jurors during deliberations that he had been sexually abused as a child, even though he had not revealed that fact in response to questions about prior sex abuse posed in a written questionnaire.

The juror said he “skimmed way too fast” through the questionnaire and did not intentionally give the wrong answer to a question about sex abuse.

In refusing to throw out the verdict, Judge Nathan said the juror’s failure to disclose his prior sexual abuse during the selection process was highly unfortunate but not deliberate.

The judge also concluded the juror “harboured no bias toward the defendant and could serve as a fair and impartial juror”.

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

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