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Published 2021-12-30
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Ghislaine Maxwell Found Guilty! Prince Andrew Is Next?

The case that has been closely followed by many for years has come to an end…to a certain extent. Ghislaine Maxwell who was closely connected with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been found guilty of facilitating his sexual abuse. Many had deemed Maxwell's trial as the reckoning Epstein never had due to the fact he committed suicide in his jail cell while he had been awaiting his trial in 2019. This case was also seen as one of the highest-profile cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement. What exactly happened during the verdict of Ghislaine’s trial? How many years is she facing? And could this turn of events prompt some action with regards to the allegations and lawsuit that Prince Andrew is facing? Read on to find out the latest news.

Ghislaine Maxwell - The Verdict

During the month-long trial, jurors had heard emotional and at times explicit testimonies from four women who had said that Maxwell was central to the abuse they experienced by Epstein. Three of them had even said that the woman herself touched their bare breasts and even took part in the encounters, which according to them had often begun as massages. After the jury deliberated for six days, Ghislaine was found guilty by a U.S jury on Wednesday 29th December. She was convicted on five of six counts, including one count of sex trafficking and the British socialite could face up to 65 years in prison. How did her team react? Read on to find out.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s Reaction

According to reports from the media outlets present, as the verdict was read, Maxwell was sitting in front of a group of her siblings and showed little visible reaction to what the judge was saying, only pouring herself a glass of water. Shortly after the verdict, Ghislaine’s legal team said they were already working on an appeal. Her lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, speaking with reporters had said, “We firmly believe in Ghislaine’s innocence.”

Ghislaine Maxwell - The Trial

The 60-year-old disgraced socialite was accused of recruiting and grooming four teenagers between 1994 and 2004 for her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein. During the trial, her attorneys had attempted to undermine the credibility of the women testifying, arguing that they were only motivated to implicate Maxwell because all four of them had received million-dollar awards from a compensation fund for Epstein’s victims. The women in turn had disputed their claims, saying that they had decided to testify out of a desire for justice and not money. One of the victims, known by her first name Carolyn, had said during the trial that money would never fix what the woman had done to her. But now that Maxwell was convicted, will that change anything in the lawsuit against Prince Andrew? Read on to find out.

Prince Andrew Allegations

Given that Maxwell has now been convicted, many are wondering whether this will change anything with regards to the lawsuit and allegations against the Duke of York, Prince Andrew. As those of you following the case will know, the son of Queen Elizabeth II had been accused of child sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre, who had alleged that the Prince initiated a sexual encounter with her while knowing that she was a minor who was sex trafficked by Epstein. When she filed a lawsuit against the duke, Ms. Giuffre had claimed that she was forced into sex by explicit or implicit threats and because she feared the powerful connections, wealth, and authority of the American financier. Prince Andrew had strongly denied these allegations and you can find out more about them in our video linked below.

Prince Andrew Mentioned In Trial?

While many internet users had been quick to take to social media to celebrate and make claims that Prince Andrew would be next, the most important thing to bear in mind about Maxwell’s conviction is that it only applies to what she had done and that nobody else was on trial at the time. In fact, during the trial, the jury heard no evidence that proved that Prince Andrew was allegedly involved in any of the wrongdoing. However, could any of the evidence presented be evaluated and used in Virginia’s lawsuit? Read on to find out.

Close Friend Convicted

Though despite all that, it is worth remembering that during his 2019 BBC interview, the prince told Newsnight that his relationship with Epstein was because of his long-standing friendship with Ghislaine. He said it was the only reason he got to know the financier in 1999. This means that the duke’s close friend is now a convicted abuser which could potentially work in favor of Ms. Giuffre as in her court papers she alleges that the socialite “spent years overseeing and managing Epstein’s sex trafficking network and actively recruited underage girls, including herself.” Her conviction now means that Virginia’s lawyers in her case against Prince Andrew can say it is not beyond reasonable doubt that Ghislaine played a role in the abuse and the senior royal’s relationship with Maxwell is now as important to the outcome of the damages case as his relationship with Jeffrey. It is also worth bringing up the photo of Maxwell and Epstein at Balmoral, which is thought to have been taken in 1999 when the Prince reportedly invited them to stay there.

Virginia Was In Maxwell’s Trial?

Other’s had also wondered whether Virginia was present at the trial against Ghislaine. The answer here is no and there are reasons for that. One of the first ones was that she was not named on the indictment as one of the abuse victims in the trial and that meant that there was no legal need for the jury to consider what she had to say. There had also been some speculations among reporters in New York that Ms. Giuffre was not called because her prominence would have been distracting. However, she was mentioned during the trial. One of the witnesses had told the jury that she had been introduced to Epstein by Virginia Roberts, which was her maiden name. Adding to this, a former Epstein employee recalled seeing Giuffre at the financier’s estate in Florida. But will this mean that the Met will once again re-open the case? Find out on the next page.

Maxwell’s UK Connection

During the trial, they had however introduced evidence about Epstein’s activities at Maxwell’s London home where Virginia alleges she was trafficked to Prince Andrew, however, it is worth highlighting that the evidence the jury saw did not relate to that specific claim. While most people have seen the famous photo of the prince with Virginia in Ghislaine’s home, he had only come up in the evidence presented by one of the witnesses (who claimed she was invited to Ghislaine’s Belgravia house where she was groomed into a sexual encounter there with Epstein) peripherally, when the woman told the jury how Maxwell would name-drop him and other rich and famous people she knew. In the past, the duke of York had confirmed in an interview that he had been in Maxwell’s house previously but said he had no recollection of meeting Virginia there or the photograph being taken.

Will The Met Re-open The Investigation?

So the question is, will anything during the case mean that the Metropolitan police will once again re-open the investigation? Well, so far, after having reviewed material from the US civil courts and media, they had taken no action over allegations of criminality in the UK relating to Epstein, though it was never confirmed if whether or not they had looked at Giuffre’s allegations against Prince Andrew. Given that the woman who testified against Maxwell about being groomed at her UK was over the age of consent in the UK, therefore not viewed as a minor and it was not seen as a crime and it only related to Jeffrey and Epstein it does not seem that they might look into the allegations against the Queen’s son. However, as mentioned before, some of the things mentioned in the conviction trial could potentially be used by Virginia’s lawyers in her civil lawsuit and the British newspaper the Mirror has alleged that the prince’s lawyers have been having emergency talks following the conviction.

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