Prince Andrew’s accuser says ‘others must be held accountable’ after Maxwell guilty verdict

Following the news that British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking charges, one of her accusers has said that "others must be held accountable."

Virginia Giuffre, who was not included in Maxwell's trial but has been vocal in accusing Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine of trafficking her out to powerful men, spoke out after the trial ended in a guilty verdict on Wednesday 29 December.

Writing on Twitter, Virginia 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."

She continued: "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."

One of the powerful men Virginia Giuffre has accused Maxwell and Epstein of trafficking to is Prince Andrew. She claims she was sexually assaulted by the Prince in London and New York when she was aged 17.

In August 2021, Giuffre filed a civil case in the US claiming that Andrew abused her, filed under New York's Child Victims Act.

Andrew has consistently denied any claims made against him.

In October 2021, the Duke of York's lawyers filed a 36 page motion to dismiss the civil suit brought by Giuffre, in which her lawsuit was described as "frivolous."

The document read: "She has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense."

Andrew's lawyers also cited a New York Daily News story from 2015 that claimed Giuffre had recruited young women into Epstein's sex trafficking ring.

In a section of legal papers titled 'Giuffre's role in Epstein's criminal enterprise', lawyers cite Crystal Figueroa, who is the sister of one of Giuffre's ex-boyfriends, as saying: "'She [Giuffre] would say to me, 'Do you know any girls who are kind of sl**ty?"

The court filing then added: "It is a striking feature of this case that while lurid allegations are made against Prince Andrew by Giuffre, the only party to this claim whose conduct has involved the wilful recruitment and trafficking of young girls for sexual abuse is Giuffre herself, including while she was an adult."

In the introduction to the document, lawyers vehemently deny any wrongdoing on the part of Andrew, stating: "He unequivocally denies Giuffre's false allegations against him."

Maxwell's trial ended on Wednesday, after the 60 year old was found guilty on five of the six counts she faced.

The most serious offence she was found guilty of was sex trafficking a minor.

The trial took four months, with testimony being heard from four women who detailed being abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.

The final verdicts were reached by a 12 person jury following five days of deliberation in New York.

The British socialite could spend life in prison when she faces sentencing, a date for which has yet to be set.

Annie Farmer, who testified against Maxwell, shared her relief at the verdict. She said: "I am so relieved and grateful that the jury recognised [her] pattern of predatory behaviour.

"I hope that this verdict brings solace to all who need it and demonstrates that no one is above the law."

However, her lawyers are already working on an appeal, with one of them – Bobbi Sternheim – telling news reporters: "We firmly believe in Ghislaine's innocence."

Piers Morgan has also weighed in on the verdict, saying powerful men will be "sweating" at the news.

Sharing a snap of Ghislaine to his 7.9million followers, he questioned: "Will vile sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell now sing like a canary to avoid spending the rest of her life in prison?"

The 56 year old added: "If she does, there could be a lot of rich, powerful & famous people sweating tonight… and not sweating."

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