What Ghislaine Maxwell’s Wealth Couldn’t Buy; Innocence 

Anna Ooka, Staff Writer

You can describe Jeffrey Epstein’s life history with words such as “luxurious” and “privileged”, but you could never leave out the terms “predatory” and “disgusting beyond repair”. The victims who hold the trauma inflicted onto them from all those years ago are still resilient and strong enough to make sure that Ghislaine Maxwell does. The 59 year-old British socialite was ruled guilty with a sentence of 65 years in perison being the right hand woman to Jeffrey Epstein’s heinous sex trafficking ring. Using both of their wealth and social connections, manipulated over a few dozen to about 100 underage girls to partake in sexual activities with famous social elites of the world. Until July of 2020, Ghislaine Maxwell stayed silent and hid from the public eye after Epstein’s conviction in 2019. Despite the several allegations against her actively recruiting underage girls and taking advantage of each of their vulnerable situations, Maxwell pleaded not guilty throughout her 6-week long trial 

The tensions surrounding the trial were at an all-time high due to the tight-lipped witness list, but after the first few witnesses, it became evident that the case would become an emotional one for the accusers. The first witness under the pseudonym “Jane” talked about her experiences of being molested by Maxwell in her arts and music camp in Michigan, which Epstein was a donor of when she was as young as 14 years old. She also described the painful memories of her abuse by Epstein while Maxwell was in the room and how this continued until she was 16 years old. The conviction of this heart-breaking testimony was further assisted by the prosecutor’s alleged “victim shaming” when he grilled the witness about the accuracy of an experience 20 years ago and about how long it took for the witness to come forward. 

Maxwell was in a challenging position in her trial. There was countless evidence of accusers coming out against both Epstein and Maxwell, including the high-profile accuser, Virginia Giuffre. Her story is well known for being flown out to different places across the world to have sex with politicians, billionaires, and royals, including the famous example of Prince Andrew, at the young age of 17 years. 

Maxwell’s team was persistent in undermining the witnesses’ credibility because it is difficult to ignore a 20 year-gap memory’s accuracy. However, no expensive and well-built defense team can maneuver their way through several witnesses’ emotional memories at the end of the day. Maxwell was not a simple onlooker to the victims, and she was the obedient assistant who normalized the abuse and added a whole new layer of toxicity and manipulation. 

As an extreme case of wealth and power used in a closed-off, secret society, the Epstein case was undoubtedly an intriguing shock to the world that kept people on the edge of their seats. Maxwell’s trial was no exception. Maxwell was found guilty and charged up to 65 years in prison, which is fundamentally life in jail for her age. Although their memories may fade in credibility over time, the victims’ emotional trauma will not, and hopefully, Maxwell’s verdict will be a step towards their closure. We can only hope that major cases such as these inspire a society that allows more people to come out and use the power of numbers to overcome the misuses of wealth.