Anyone hoping a freshly convicted Ghislaine Maxwell will take down a raft of powerful men who exploited the young girls she helped groom and sexually trafficked is likely in for disappointment.
Her defense lawyers said ahead of her criminal trial that they never asked for a plea deal, nor were they offered one by prosecutors in exchange for the British socialite naming names. While that may change as her case moves to the sentencing phase, there has been no indication from her camp that she's willing to spill any secrets.
Prosecutors have also been quiet on whether they'll go after the rich and powerful men who some of Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell's victims claim sexually abused them as well. Their silence has not been well received.
"So Ghislaine Maxwell will spend the rest of her life behind bars while all of her and Epstein's rich and famous collaborators go quietly into the night?" American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp tweeted.
So Ghislaine Maxwell will spend the rest of her life behind bars while all of her and Epstein's rich and famous collaborators go quietly into the night?— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) December 30, 2021
Maxwell's four-week criminal trial was supposed to provide a who's who of people in Maxwell and Epstein's orbit who either participated in or knew of their criminal behavior. But for now, it seems the only people being punished are Maxwell and Epstein, who was found hanging in his New York jail cell one month after being arrested on sex trafficking charges in 2019.
GHISLAINE MAXWELL FOUND GUILTY IN SEX TRAFFICKING CASE
Maxwell was found guilty Wednesday of five criminal counts, including sex trafficking of minors. She was acquitted of a sixth count, enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. If given the maximum punishment, she could spend the rest of her life behind bars. Her lawyers, who said they would appeal, argued she was a scapegoat for Epstein.
During her trial, Epstein's private pilot Paul Visoski testified about the Boeing 727 he used to shuttle the ex-financier and his guests between 2000 and 2004, calling it a "recreational vehicle." The media dubbed the plane the "Lolita Express," a nod to Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel about a middle-aged French professor who justifies the repeated rape and sexual assault of a 12-year-old American girl.
Visoski said he piloted about 1,000 flights and flew Prince Andrew and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. Flight logs backed up his claims and also listed Bobby Kennedy Jr., Bill Gates, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell, and famed violinist Izhak Perlman as passengers. None of the men have been accused of wrongdoing, but their presence sheds light on Epstein's circle of friends.
"When you consider these five convictions for Maxwell, this picture becomes more glaring in the total absence of prosecution for the men on the other end of these flights," Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, tweeted.
When you consider these five convictions for Maxwell, this picture becomes more glaring in the total absence of prosecution for the men on the other end of these flights. https://t.co/x7mHd5GM7P— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) December 29, 2021
There had been buzz that the public was going to see the names of other Epstein confidants in his "little black book," but a deal made between prosecutors and Maxwell's defense team earlier this month cut off any public access to the list, which had some people fuming.
"Maxwell trafficked these girls to somebody. Hold each and every one of those somebodies accountable," Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky tweeted.
Maxwell trafficked these girls to somebody. Hold each and every one of those somebodies accountable.— Julie Roginsky (@julieroginsky) December 29, 2021
Kate Casey, the host of the podcast Real Life with Kate Casey, added, "I worry Ghislaine will never tell us everything, and a woman will be the only person brought before a court for the hellacious acts of countless powerful men."
I worry Ghislaine will never tell us everything, and a woman will be the only person brought before a court for the hellacious acts of countless powerful men. #GhislaineMaxwell #Ghislaine— Kate Casey (@KateCasey) December 29, 2021
Since her conviction, there has been some speculation that Maxwell may work with prosecutors to start naming names in exchange for a lighter sentence. If so, that could blow the lid off a lengthy list of conspirators.
"Maxwell truly has two options: She can fight this case and take it up on appeal, where she will likely face a 65-year sentence, or she can start issuing some names of who else was involved for a substantially lighter sentence," said Matthew Barhoma, a criminal appeals lawyer in Los Angeles.
David Boies, whose firm, Boies Schiller, represents Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of the first Epstein accusers to go public — and who is now suing his former friend, Britain’s Prince Andrew, for sexual abuse, told the Financial Times he didn't think Maxwell's conviction marks the end of the case.
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“She now has nothing to lose,” he said. “At one point she may have wanted to preserve her relationships with rich and powerful people. But those people are not going to do her any good in the penitentiary.”
Calls to the federal prosecutors who handled the case were not returned.