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Ghislaine Maxwell will almost certainly spend the rest of her life in prison, after she was convicted of several sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell had pleaded not guilty to all six of the charges against her. On Wednesday, a jury in New York City declared her guilty of five of them, and each charge carries a lengthy maximum sentence.
In all, Maxwell – who just turned 60 – could face up to 65 years in prison.
Specifically, the British socialite was found guilty of conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, and sex trafficking of minors.
Each of those conspiracy charges carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. For the transporting charge, the maximum is ten years. And for sex trafficking of minors, the maximum is a whopping 40 years in prison.
The judge in the case, Judge Alison Nathan, does have some leeway as to how many years Maxwell will spend behind bars. If she gives her the maximum sentence for each charge, and has her serve them consecutively, Maxwell will face more time than she could possibly live to finish.
However, Judge Nathan could also go below the maximum, or have Maxwell serve the sentences concurrently, which would yield a lower sentence. But as long as the judge even approaches the maximum sentence on the minors trafficking charge – 40 years – Maxwell will almost definitely die in prison.
A date has not yet been set for Maxwell’s sentencing.
The case against Maxwell had hinged on the testimony of four women, who said they were sexually exploited by Maxwell and her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein, when they were teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Two testified under the pseudonyms “Jane” and “Kate”, a third went only by her first name Carolyn, while Annie Farmer gave evidence under her full name.
They told of being lured into Epstein’s orbit under the false impression that Maxwell was a “sisterly” figure who wanted to help them with scholarships and introduce them to her network of powerful contacts.
Prosecutors described Maxwell as a “sophisticated predator” who ran a playbook of abuse “again and again” as she targeted vulnerable young girls.
Epstein died by suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking offences.