Ghislaine Maxwell was an accomplice in a crime that sent shock waves through US society. The confidant of the dead US multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein was found guilty last year.

Six months after her conviction for sex crimes, the sentence in the trial against Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell is to be announced on Tuesday.

The 60-year-old was found guilty in December by a jury in New York, among other things, of human trafficking with minors for abuse purposes. Maxwell was considered the right-hand man of Jeffrey Epstein, a businessman who was networked to the highest circles and played a central role in establishing a ring for the sexual abuse of girls. Maxwell had announced that he would appeal.

Decades of abuse of minors

The trial attracted global attention because many saw it as a proxy trial after Epstein’s death. According to official information, he killed himself in his prison cell in the summer of 2019.

For decades, numerous minors were allegedly abused at Epstein’s estates in New York, Florida, Santa Fe and the Virgin Islands. The case also made waves in the United States because the entrepreneur was known to celebrities such as ex-Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, billionaire Bill Gates and British Prince Andrew. A previous indictment against him resulted in a deal that was very advantageous for Epstein. By doing so, at the latest, he has become a symbol of a social elite that can get away with crimes.

A culture of silence

According to the indictment, Maxwell’s role in the systematic abuse by Epstein was to gain the trust of girls and bring them to their former partner – often for so-called massages. A few times Maxwell was even present during attacks. She also built up a “culture of silence” to keep the deeds secret. According to the indictment, she did this to maintain her own life of luxury with Epstein.

Maxwell is the daughter of British publisher Robert Maxwell (1923-1991) and came to New York in the early 1990s. There she met Epstein at one of the numerous celebrity parties and was temporarily in a relationship with him. Those close to Epstein described her role in his life as a mix of employee and best friend.