Ghislaine Maxwell could be headed to federal prison for the rest of her life.
Maxwell, 60, faces up to 65 years in prison after she was found guilty Wednesday on five federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor.
Maxwell’s attorneys said they plan to appeal.
US District Judge Alison Nathan has yet to schedule a sentencing hearing.
Meanwhile, legal experts say prosecutors could consider continuing their work investigating the crimes of the British socialite and the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to determine whether others should be charged.
Prosecutors may seek a deal with Maxwell before sentencing, said Joey Jackson, a CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney.
“I think prosecutors – if they’re looking to go down the route of potentially holding other people accountable – will now say, ‘Now that you’re guilty, perhaps you can speak to us now, and to the extent that you cooperate, maybe we can work out some kind of arrangement where it’s not as stiff for you in jail,’” Jackson told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Because Maxwell has no prior criminal history, she might not get the maximum sentence anyway – though the egregiousness of the crimes will lead to “significant time” behind bars, he added.
This was not a two-person operation, and others should be investigated, said CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, a former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where Maxwell was tried. He pointed to civil lawsuits that allege others are linked to Maxwell’s and Epstein’s abuse.
“I think prosecutors have a real obligation to dig all the way down to the bottom and bring anyone else who may have been part of this to justice,” he said.
It is rare for US attorneys in that jurisdiction to try to get someone who has already been tried and convicted to cooperate, Honig said. But if Maxwell can deliver important cases against important people, that could lead to a deal, he said.
One of those rare offers involved a client who had been convicted of a crime and was told there was a way for him to stay out of prison, said Jackson, who didn’t get into the details.
“So, I don’t think that this story may be over yet,” he said. “The same deal may be given to Maxwell.”
Prosecution praises victims who testified at trial
In addition to the sex trafficking of a minor charge, Maxwell was found guilty of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy.
She was acquitted on the charge of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Prosecutors argued Maxwell and Epstein conspired to set up a scheme to lure young girls into sexual relationships with Epstein from 1994 to 2004 in New York, Florida, New Mexico and the US Virgin Islands.
The US attorney for the Southern District of New York praised the prosecutors in his office for their work and thanked the four women who testified during the trial that Epstein abused them when they were girls and that Maxwell facilitated the abuse and sometimes participated in it.