Family of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell expresses faith in her 'innocence'
Members of Ghislaine Maxwell's family say they still believe she is innocent after a New York jury found her guilty of luring teenage girls to be sexually abused by American millionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
In a statement issued late Wednesday, the Maxwell family said it would support the British socialite's efforts to appeal her conviction.
“We believe firmly in our sister’s innocence. We are very disappointed with the verdict,’’ read the statement. “We have already started the appeal tonight, and we believe that she will ultimately be vindicated.”
The jury's verdict capped a month-long trial featuring sordid accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14.
Four women testified that they were abused as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico.
Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty of five of six counts.
Each charge carries a maximum prison term of five to 40 years.
The conviction of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking is also a blow for her embattled royal former friend Prince Andrew, British media said Thursday.
The Duke of York, the second son of Elizabeth II and ninth in line to the throne, has long-standing ties to Maxwell, who has been found guilty of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late Epstein.
Andrew has denied sexually assaulting one of Epstein's alleged victims, who is suing him in the United States.