Ghislaine Maxwell appeals sex trafficking conviction

Ghislaine Maxwell's attorney will urge a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday to overturn her sex trafficking conviction and the 20-year sentence she received for aiding Jeffrey Epstein in the sexual abuse of teenage girls.

Publication: 12.03.2024 - 16:38
Ghislaine Maxwell appeals sex trafficking conviction
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Maxwell, 62, faced conviction in December 2021 on five counts related to the recruitment and grooming of four underage girls for Epstein, her former boyfriend, between 1994 and 2004. The court's decision on her appeal is not expected immediately.

Epstein died by suicide in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail, shortly after his arrest on sex trafficking charges. His victims have secured hundreds of millions of dollars from his estate and from banks implicated in facilitating his criminal activities. The scandal has notably affected the reputations of individuals such as Prince Andrew of Britain and former Barclays CEO Jes Staley.

Maxwell, the daughter of the late British media tycoon Robert Maxwell, argues through her lawyers that she was scapegoated due to Epstein's death amid public outrage. Her legal team contends that the government delayed too long in filing charges and claims she was covered by a 2007 non-prosecution agreement Epstein reached with Florida federal prosecutors.

Another point of contention in Maxwell's trial was a juror's failure to disclose his history of childhood sexual abuse, which her lawyers argue compromised the fairness of the trial. Prosecutors, however, dismiss the appeal as baseless, referencing Circuit Judge Alison Nathan's assertion of Maxwell's "incalculable" harm to her victims and emphasizing that the sentence underscores the principle that no one is exempt from the law.

Judge Nathan, who has since been promoted to the appeals court, did not partake in the appeal process. Maxwell is currently serving her sentence in a low-security facility in Tallahassee, Florida, with a projected release date in July 2037.

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