New York (AFP) -
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on Wednesday of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell was convicted by a 12-person jury of five of the six counts she was facing including the most serious charge of sex trafficking a minor.
The 60-year-old daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell could potentially spend the rest of her life behind bars.
Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors carries a maximum 40-year sentence. The lesser charges have terms of five or 10 years
Maxwell sat passively in the Manhattan courtroom, slowly removing her mask to take sips of water, as Judge Alison Nathan read out the verdicts for each of the six counts.
Nathan offered her 'sincere thanks' to the jury for their service, adding that they served with 'diligence.'
At 5:10 pm (2210 GMT) Nathan adjourned the proceedings and Maxwell walked out of the courtroom into detention as she has done every day of the trial.
No date was set for her sentencing.
The charges against Maxwell stemmed from 1994 to 2004.
Two of Epstein's alleged victims said they were as young as 14 when Maxwell allegedly began grooming them and arranging for them to give massages to Epstein that ended in sexual activity.