NEW YORK - Jurors have reached a verdict in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking trial, after the trial entered its fifth day of deliberations Wednesday.
Maxwell is a British socialite charged with recruiting and grooming underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
Judge Alison Nathan had informed jurors that they would have to work through the holiday if a verdict had not been reached by the end of the week.
A day earlier, the jury at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in Lower Manhattan sent a note to Judge Nathan saying that they were making progress but asked to be dismissed at 5 p.m. Nathan agreed to let them go.
DEC. 29, 2021 - Ghislaine Maxwell talks with attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca in federal court in Lower Manhattan. (Sketch by Jane Rosenberg)
Maxwell, 60, a British socialite, is charged with recruiting and grooming teenagers as young as 14 to be sexually assaulted by financier Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell’s lawyers say she was a U.S. government scapegoat after Epstein killed himself in 2019 in a Manhattan federal jail cell while awaiting a sex trafficking trial.
Maxwell, who was behind bars for her 60th birthday Saturday, was described as a central component to Epstein's plans by four women who testified they were sexually abused as teenagers by Epstein with help from Maxwell when she was his girlfriend and afterward.
DEC. 29, 2021- Judge Alison Nathan presiding over the sex trafficking trial of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Lower Manhattan. (Sketch by Jane Rosenberg)
This week, the jury asked the court asked for multi-colored sticky notes and a whiteboard, along with transcripts of some trial testimony, the definition of "enticement" and a question on the law. Nathan referred them to her legal instructions that she read to them just before they began deliberations a week ago.
The jury, which deliberated two full days last week, already has asked to review the testimony of the four women, along with former Epstein housekeeper Juan Patricio Alessi. Maxwell faces six charges, including a sex trafficking count that carries a potential penalty of up to 40 years in prison.
DEC. 29, 2021 - US marshals block Ghislaine Maxwell from talking with her sister, Isabel Maxwell. (Sketch by Jane Rosenberg)
On Monday, jurors asked for the transcript of testimony by "Matt," the pseudonym of a television actor who testified that he is the ex-boyfriend of "Jane," the pseudonym of an actor who is one of the four accusers who testified against Maxwell. The judge had ruled that some witnesses in the trial could testify with only first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy.
With the Associated Press