Family of UK socialite Maxwell voices faith in her innocence

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Christine Maxwell, Isabel Maxwell, Kevin Maxwell

Christine Maxwell, left, Isabel Maxwell, center, and Kevin Maxwell, siblings of Ghislaine Maxwell, leave the courthouse after a verdict in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of luring teenage girls to be sexually abused by American millionaire Jeffrey Epstein. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

LONDON (AP) — Members of Ghislaine Maxwell’s family say they still believe she is innocent after a New York jury found her guilty of luring teenage girls to be sexually abused by American millionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, the Maxwell family said it would support the British socialite’s efforts to appeal her conviction.

“We believe firmly in our sister’s innocence. We are very disappointed with the verdict,’’ read the statement. “We have already started the appeal tonight, and we believe that she will ultimately be vindicated.”

The jury’s verdict capped a monthlong trial featuring sordid accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14. Four women testified that they were abused as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico.

Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty of five of six counts. Each charge carries a maximum prison term of five to 40 years.

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