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Prince Andrew accuser: 'Others must be held accountable' after Maxwell verdict
30 December 2021, 08:37 | Updated: 30 December 2021, 09:40
Virginia Roberts has said "others must be held accountable" after Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking young girls for Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew's accuser said she had "lived with the horrors of Maxwell's abuse" as the 60-year-old socialite's family said the defendant would appeal her guilty verdicts.
Ms Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York three times in 2001, and another two times in New York and on Epstein's private island.
Prince Andrew has vehemently denied any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Roberts.
His accuser said on Twitter: "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."
Prosecutors said Maxwell helped with enticing vulnerable teenagers to Epstein's properties in order for him to sexually abuse them between 1994 and 2004.
Six charges were levied against her, which included conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Maxwell was also accused of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of a minor and lying under oath by hiding her participation in Epstein's offences during a separate civil case.
She was convicted on five of the six counts on Wednesday, having been found not guilty of enticement of an individual under 17 to travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Her family said on Twitter, after the verdicts: "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."
Four women testified against Maxwell in the New York trial.
Maria Farmer, the sister of Annie Farmer who testified under her full name, said they were "sobbing with joy", having "spent every moment for seven years working towards this verdict".
Lisa Bloom, who represents some of Maxwell's and Epstein's accusers, said she was :moved to tears" and told the BBC she did not think an appeal had legs.
"Convicted sex trafficker Maxwell has finally been held to account for bringing girls to Jeffrey Epstein,” she said.
"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."
A statement from the US attorney's office 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."