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Ghislaine Maxwell Loses Bid to Drop Sex Trafficking Conviction Prior to Sentencing

Ghislaine Maxwell Loses Bid to Drop Sex Trafficking Conviction Prior to Sentencing

Ghislaine Maxwell lost a bid on Friday to overturn her December 2021 conviction on sex trafficking charges, paving the way for her to spend the rest of her life in prison. Maxwell was convicted of helping recruit and sexually abuse girls for deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein and is scheduled to be sentenced in June. But Maxwell also scored a minor legal victory when the judge presiding over her case concluded that the three conspiracy counts she was charged with were for the same crime and she can only, therefore, be sentenced for one.

After lawyers for Maxwell had asked her to reject the verdict on multiple grounds, including insufficient evidence, U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan ruled that three counts of the guilty verdict were supported by testimony and evidence presented at Maxwell’s trial in Manhattan federal court. Judge Nathan, however, rejected the guilty verdicts reached on two of the other counts, reducing the maximum possible sentence faced by Maxwell by 10 years to 55 years behind bars.

 

Maxwell’s request to overturn the conviction was separate from an earlier motion for a new trial because of one juror’s failure to disclose during jury selection that he had been sexually abused as a child. That attempt was also unsuccessful.

 

 

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Judge Nathan said that she’ll 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. “This legal conclusion in no way calls into question the factual findings made by the jury. Rather, it underscores that the jury unanimously found — three times over — that the Defendant is guilty of conspiring with Epstein to entice, transport, and traffic underage girls for sexual abuse,” Judge Nathan wrote.

Jeffrey Epstein, himself a convicted sex offender, died by suicide in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

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