Ghislaine Maxwell’s family have stated that they “firmly believe in our sister’s innocence” and have already started to prepare an appeal after her conviction for child sex trafficking.
The former girlfriend of billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was found guilty of five out of six charges at a New York court on Wednesday.
Maxwell stood trial on a raft of grooming and sex trafficking charges, relating to four girls between 1997 and 2004.
Now her family have quickly responded to the jury’s verdict which could see Maxwell spend the rest of her life behind bars.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Ghislaine Maxwell’s family said they were “very disappointed” with the verdict and had already begun the appeal process.
The statement said: “We believe firmly in our sister’s innocence – we are very disappointed with the verdict. We have already started the appeal tonight and we believe that she will ultimately be vindicated.”
Those in court said Maxwell showed no emotion in court as the verdicts were delivered although her family were visibly upset.
She stood with her hands folded as the jury filed out and glanced at her siblings as she was led from the courtroom.
Maxwell has been supported in court by her brothers and sisters – while her sibling Ian has been critical of her treatment in a US prison.
The defendant – daughter of press baron Robert Maxwell – pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Her lawyers argued she was used as a scapegoat because Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.
A statement from the US attorney’s office after the verdict was delivered said: “A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable – facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. Crimes that she committed with her long-time partner and co-conspirator, Jeffrey Epstein.
“The road to justice has been far too long. But, today, justice has been done. I want to commend the bravery of the girls – now grown women – who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom.
“Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today’s result, possible.
“I also want to thank the career prosecutors of the Southern District of New York, who embraced the victims’ quest for justice and have worked tirelessly, day in and day out, to ensure that Maxwell was held accountable for her crimes.
“This office will always stand with victims, will always follow the facts wherever they lead, and will always fight to ensure that no-one, no matter how powerful and well connected, is above the law.”