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Ghislaine Maxwell verdict sends message to victims, advocates say

Posted at 4:05 PM, Dec 30, 2021

Ghislaine Maxwell has been found guilty on sex trafficking charges. Prosecutors say she trafficked young women for abuse by billionaire Jeffery Epstein.

A jury found her guilty on five of six federal charges.

She faces several decades behind bars when sentenced.

“We were relieved to see the guilty verdict in the Maxwell trial. It sends a powerful message that no matter how rich and well connected a perpetrator is, they can be held accountable for their crimes,” said Heather Drevna works for RAINN, the Rape and Incest National Network, a victims advocacy group. She says it’s the bravery of the victims in this case that helped get the guilty verdict.

“Thanks to the persistence of the survivors, their stories, and making sure that those details were heard, we now know the extent of that, and someone will finally be held accountable for those crimes,” said Drevna.

The trial has helped expose the world of underground sex trafficking, including women's roles.

“There is this misconception that women can’t be traffickers, but actually the United Nations estimates that 38% of traffickers are women,” said Taina Bien-Aimé, the executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking Women.

She’s been following the trial and is pleased by early reports about Maxwell’s sentence.

“We’re looking at a minimum of 20 years if not more some reports have indicated up to 70 years of jail time,” said Bien-Aimé.

Maxwell’s attorney has already announced they will appeal.

“We firmly believe in Ghislaine's innocence. Obviously, we are very disappointed with the verdict. We have already started working on the appeal. And we are confident that she will vindicate,” Bobbi C. Sternheim, attorney for Maxwell.

No date has been scheduled for sentencing yet, but we could likely see one in January or February 2022.