Live updates: Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of sex trafficking a minor

In this sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell sits in the courtroom on Wednesday, December 29, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

Ghislaine Maxwell, who is facing six federal charges including sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, could face up to 70 years in prison if convicted on all counts. She has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

The prosecution called 24 total witnesses over 10 days of testimony and the defense called 9 witnesses over two days.

Prosecutors said in opening statements Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein created a system of sexual abuse in which they lured underage girls into sexual relationships with Epstein using the ruse of a massage and cash payments. 

Her defense, argued that she is being scapegoated for Epstein’s actions and has attacked the memories and motivations of the women who say they were abused.

Maxwell declined to testify during the trial, telling Judge Alison Nathan when asked if she understood her rights, “Your honor, the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. And so there is no need for me to testify.”

Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died by suicide in prison a month later. Maxwell was arrested a year afterward.

Note: Two perjury charges against Maxwell related to a 2016 deposition in a civil case have been severed from this trial and are to be addressed in a separate trial later.  

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