Ghislaine Maxwell, an Epstein associate, Gets 20-Year Jail Term For Sexual Offenses￼
The former socialite’s scandalous fall from fame was capped on Tuesday when Ghislaine Maxwell was given a 20-year prison term for aiding the late tycoon Jeffrey Epstein in abusing young girls.
The Oxford-educated daughter of the late British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell appeared unperturbed as Manhattan federal court judge Alison Nathan announced the sentence in front of a crowded jury.
Even while the sentence was significantly shorter than what the prosecution had requested, the 60-year-old friend of royalty and former US presidents will nevertheless likely spend the majority of the rest of her life behind bars.
Nathan rejected Maxwell’s assertions that she was pursued by prosecutors only because Epstein dodged trial by murdering himself in prison, describing Maxwell’s conduct as “heinous and predatory” as she served the time suggested by the US probation office.
“It is important to emphasize that although Epstein was central to this criminal scheme, Ms Maxwell is not being punished in place of Epstein or as a proxy for Epstein,” said the judge.
Following a month-long high-profile trial in New York, Maxwell was found guilty on five of six counts, including the most serious for sex trafficking juveniles, late last year.
The allegations relate to offenses that happened between 1994 and 2004.
She was “the key” to Epstein’s plot to get young girls to give him massages so that he could sexually assault them, according to the evidence presented by the prosecution.
In court, “Jane” and “Carolyn,” two of Epstein’s victims, said that Maxwell started grooming them when they were as young as 14 years old.
Ghislaine Maxwell apologized for the suffering the victims already had during her testimony in court on Tuesday, but she blamed Epstein.
“I believe that Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life and fooled all of those in his orbit,” she said.
Maxwell was to be sentenced to 30 to 55 years in prison, according to the prosecution, since she “was an adult who made her own decisions.”
The US attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, said in a statement that the 20-year sentence “sends a powerful message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice.”
Ghislaine Maxwell is now accountable for committing horrible crimes against children attributable to today’s sentencing, he claimed.
Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire in the summer of 2020, and after being detained for about two years, she is now expected to be released in her late 70s.
Before the verdict was announced, Maxwell and Epstein accuser Sarah Ransome urged reporters outside the court, “Ghislaine must die in prison.”
The former international jetsetter Maxwell, who grew up in riches and privilege as a friend to royalty, saw a spectacular fall with the imposition of his sentence.
Prince Andrew of Britain, Donald Trump, a former US president and estate business magnate, and the Clinton family were among those in her inner circle.
Virginia Giuffre, who claimed that she had been trafficked to the royal by Epstein and Maxwell, and Prince Andrew reached a settlement in their sexual assault lawsuit in February.
The attorneys for Maxwell pleaded with Nathan to be lenient and limit the sentence of their client to no more than five years.
Her “tough, traumatic childhood with an overbearing, egotistical, and demanding father,” they claimed, was to blame.
They said in submissions this month that Maxwell “cannot and should not shoulder all the punishment for which Epstein should have been held liable,” adding that it “rendered her vulnerable to Epstein, whom she met right after her father’s death.”
While awaiting his own New York sex crimes trial in 2019, money manager Epstein, age 66, hung himself in jail.
Lead counsel for Maxwell, Bobbi Sternheim, informed reporters that she will challenge the verdict.
Nathan turned down Maxwell’s plea for a new trial in April.
She made the unsuccessful claim that one juror had influenced the judgment by bragging about how he had persuaded other panel members to convict Maxwell by sharing his own experiences as a victim of sex abuse.