Ghislaine Maxwell accusers react to guilty verdict in sex trafficking trial

Virginia Roberts, also known as Virginia Giuffre, said she had 'lived with the horrors of Maxwell’s abuse'. Credit: AP

Accusers of predatory socialite Ghislaine Maxwell have said “others must be held accountable” after she was convicted of sex-trafficking young girls for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse.

Virginia Roberts, also known as Virginia Giuffre, said she had “lived with the horrors of Maxwell’s abuse” and commended the four women who testified against the 60-year-old during her New York trial.

The verdict capped a month-long trial featuring sordid accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls, told by four women who described being abused as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s homes.

Also giving his reaction to the verdict, a lawyer acting on behalf of one of the accusers “Jane”, who told jurors Maxwell had lured her to an orgy at the age of 14, said he was pleased “the jury has found Ms Maxwell guilty of the heinous crimes she committed against our client”.

Robert Glassman said the defendant and Epstein’s victims could “sleep better tonight knowing that the justice system got it right”.

Ms Roberts, who claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York three times in 2001 and two further times in New York and on Epstein’s private island, said she has “faith” others will now face justice.

Prince Andrew has categorically denied he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Roberts.

Prince Andrew has denied having any past relationship with Virginia Roberts-Giuffre.

In a series of tweets, Ms Roberts said: “My soul yearned for justice for years and today the jury gave me just that. I will remember this day always.

“Having lived with the horrors of Maxwell’s abuse, my heart goes out to the many other girls and young women who suffered at her hands and whose lives she destroyed.

“I hope that today is not the end but rather another step in justice being served.

“Maxwell did not act alone. Others must be held accountable. I have faith that they will be.”

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein Credit: US Department of Justice/PA

In a statement posted to Twitter early on Thursday, 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.”

Reacting to Maxwell’s conviction on Wednesday, Robert Glassman, the lawyer acting on behalf of accuser “Jane”, said: “We are pleased that the jury has found Ms Maxwell guilty of the heinous crimes she committed against our client, Jane, and the other brave women who had the courage to show up and testify at trial.

“The verdict screams loud and clear – if you make it easier for another to sexually abuse children, you, too, will be held accountable for your role in that abuse.

“You will be arrested, and you will go to prison. The verdict also confirms what we’ve known all along: Jeffrey Epstein did not act alone.

“If it was not for Ms Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein would never have been able to abuse these girls.”

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein. Credit: US Department of Justice/PA

Mr Glassman continued: “We commend the US Government for pursuing a righteous case and offer our praise to Judge Nathan who presided over this trial during an incredibly difficult time with calm, impartiality, and tenacity.

“We are glad justice prevailed and that the strong women survivors of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse can all sleep better tonight knowing that the justice system got it right, that a jury of their peers heard them, believed them, and validated the unimaginable pain and suffering they’ve had to endure for the majority of their lives.

“The jury stayed focused on what really mattered: Ms Maxwell played a critical role in helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse girls.”

Maria Farmer, the sister of Annie Farmer – who was the only victim to testify under their full name in the trial – said both of them were “sobbing with joy” after Maxwell was convicted.

Annie Farmer said Maxwell told her to undress for a massage before she rubbed her breasts Credit: US Department of Justice

In a tweet, she later said: “We are proud of one another. I have spent every moment for seven years working towards this verdict.”

Teresa Helm, another of Maxwell’s accusers, told the BBC the predator would “never again have the opportunity to take anything from anyone”.

She said: “Justice takes the lead today. I am consumed with gratitude for every brave, courageous and justice-driven person that has fought for this outcome.

“Ghislaine Maxwell will never again have the opportunity to take anything from anyone. She will reside on the other side of freedom. Us survivors, we go free.”

Lisa Bloom, who represents a number of Maxwell’s and Epstein’s accusers, also gave her reaction to the verdict, saying: “Moved to tears. This day has finally come.

“Convicted sex trafficker Maxwell has finally been held to account for bringing girls to Jeffrey Epstein.

“Maxwell got to walk free on this earth for 60 years. May she never walk free again. The lesson: you do not have to be perfect to stand up for justice."

“All four of Ghislaine’s accusers endured tough cross examinations about drug use, sexual behaviours, inconsistent statements. The jury saw through it and delivered justice.”

Ms Bloom also shared a message she had received from one of her clients, named only as Kiki, who said: “No sentence or punishment will take away the trauma that we all had to endure at their hands, but now she will have to live with what she did, just the way the survivors have to live with it every day of our lives.

“What she and Jeffrey did for their own sadistic pleasures, sentenced all of their victims to their own metaphorical prisons.

“I fight everyday to escape those 4 walls that entrapped me the day I was abused, and now she will know what that’s like for all of the girls she damaged for life.”

Jeffrey Epstein. Credit: AP

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.”