Will Ghislaine Maxwell be found guilty of the federal charges against her?

The former socialite and former right-hand woman to serial rapist and pedophile, Jeffery Epstein (who was on trial for sex trafficking crimes before committing suicide), is being charged by the federal government for crimes of sex trafficking of minors, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three counts of conspiracy.

If Maxwell is found guilty, she could face a maximum of 80 years in prison.

The timeline of Epstein’s and Maxwell’s arrests goes as follows, according to the New York Times.

July 7th, 2019: Businessman and socialite Jeffery Epstein is arrested on the charges of sexual abuse of women and minors, one being as young as 14 years old.

August 10th, 2019: Jeffery Epstein kills himself just after being denied bail for the sex trafficking charges against him.

July 2020: Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is arrested in her New Hampshire home for her involvement with Epstein’s crimes. At the time, she was charged with sex trafficking three minors.

March 2021: Another accuser reveals Maxwell sexually abused her while a minor, adding an additional charge of sex trafficking a minor to Maxwell’s charges.

December 2021: Ghislaine’s trial begins.

Who is Ghislaine Maxwell? How did she get involved with Jeffery Epstein, and how close were the two of them? Ghislaine Maxwell was born into a wealthy family. Unfortunately for her, the company her father owned went bankrupt shortly after his death. On the verge of financial collapse and “fancy living,” Maxwell was shattered. Shortly after, Maxwell met her “partner in crime,” Jeffery Epstein. Supposedly, the two met before through Ghislaine’s father.

Their relationship was first described as romantic. Later on, it transformed into a business dynamic and close friendship. Images were released proving they had a “friendly” relationship. The two would concoct schemes to trap young women and girls into their crimes.

Ghislaine is currently pleading not guilty and denies the charges against her. Maxwell’s lawyers state that “Ghislaine is not Jeffery, and shouldn’t be treated for his crimes.” Is that true? Was Epstein alone responsible for trafficking young girls? Is Maxwell innocent of these crimes?

What is human trafficking? Human trafficking, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, is “the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” Reportedly, Maxwell is guilty of obtaining sexual acts for Epstein based on what her current accusers have said.

How does a trafficker recruit their victims? The commonly used tactics were observed in the four women’s testimonies against Maxwell. 

Jane” (one of the women accusing Ghislaine Maxwell of sexual abuse), stated that the time spent with Maxwell and Epstein made her “feel special.” In her testimony, “Jane” shared that the pair would “spend time with her, ask about her family and interests and take her to do fun things.” As described by Polaris, traffickers attempt to gain a victim’s trust by pretending to be interested in the conversation. “They’ll pose as good listeners, who care deeply, as they learn more about what they can do to insinuate themselves more deeply in the victim’s life,” according to Polaris.

“Over time, the victim may be conditioned to believe that what they’re being asked to do is ‘normal.’ They may even feel like they owe their trafficker for all they have done for them.”

How was this evident with the victims of Maxwell and Epstein? According to the second accuser, “Kate,” Maxwell asked Kate to give Epstein a quick massage for her. Once she went to Epstein’s room, Epstein initiated sexual acts with her. Kate was underage at the time.

The third victim, Carolyn, described how she would be paid a large amount of money for her “performances” with Epstein, thus causing her to feel like she “owed” the pair for giving her so much money. 

Despite what victims have said, it is unknown if Maxwell is truly guilty. Both the defense and prosecution have shared their closing statements. The judge overseeing the trial has paused all deliberations until Monday for the holidays.

With a verdict on the horizon, Maxwell’s fate will soon become clear. If convicted on the six counts, Ghislaine Maxwell faces a possibility of 80 years in prison.