Jasmine Garsd

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Updated December 29, 2021 at 7:23 PM ET

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on Wednesday of facilitating the abuse of underage girls at the hands of wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein.

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New York is in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Just on Sunday, New York state reported more than 22,000 positive cases. This comes right as people had hoped to travel for the holiday. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.

Ghislaine Maxwell's defense attorneys rested their case Friday, after just two days of calling witnesses to the stand. Maxwell herself did not testify. The British socialite is accused of facilitating trafficking and sexual abuse of minors at the hands of financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Closing arguments in the case will begin on Monday, meaning the jury could reach a verdict before Christmas — which also happens to be Maxwell's birthday.

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Opening statements in the highly anticipated trial of Ghislaine Maxwell begin on Monday in a Manhattan federal court.

Maxwell is being tried on several felony counts, including trafficking underage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.

Here's what you need to know as the trial starts.

What Maxwell is accused of

It's alleged that Maxwell groomed underage girls, offering them lavish trips and gifts in exchange for exploiting them, and that in some cases, she herself participated in the abuse.

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