The long road to justice for Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s victims resulted in U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan sentencing British socialite Maxwell, 60, to 20 years in prison, and fined $750,000.
“I am sorry for the pain that you experienced. I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you closure,” said Maxwell in court..
Maxwell was found guilty in December 2021 after a month’s long trial in federal court in New York on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Four women testified that they were abused in their teens. One was an aspiring musician when Epstein and Maxwell first met her at a summer camp. Another was a British model who fell for Maxwell’s charm in London. A third was a young girl who dropped out of middle school. The fourth was a high school student. Their testimonies were powerful, harrowing and painful.
The jury found Maxwell a sexual predator and procurer of young girls as young as 14 years of age, with the late Jeffrey Epstein, who died in jail in August 2019, awaiting trial.
Prosecutors claimed that Maxwell deserved 30 to 55 years in prison.
“Maxwell’s conduct was shockingly predatory. She was a calculating, sophisticated, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse,” wrote the prosecutors in a court filing prior to sentencing.
Probation officials recommended a 20-year sentence, but claimed her conviction could call for 25 to 30 years.
Maxwell’s lawyers asked the court to impose a sentence of no more than five years.
In a court submission filed before the sentencing, Maxwell’s lawyers asserted that she deserved leniency, calling it “a travesty of justice for her to face a sentence that would have been appropriate for Epstein.”
“Epstein was the mastermind, Epstein was the principal abuser, and Epstein orchestrated the crimes for his personal gratification,” the lawyers wrote. “Indeed, had Ghislaine Maxwell never had the profound misfortune of meeting Jeffrey Epstein over 30 years ago, she would not be here.”
Seven women submitted victims’ statements to the court. Two of those who testified in court asked to address the court during the sentencing hearing.
They includes the British model, who used the pseudonym, Kate, during the trial, and Annie Farmer, who was a high school student who was sexually abused by both Maxwell and Epstein.
Judges take into consideration the punitive nature of the crimes, especially when they involve enticing and grooming children for sexual abuse, and the victims’ impact statements. Pre-sentencing investigative report are taken into great consideration. In this particular case, the duration of the crimes would come under consideration.
“Today’s sentence holds Ghislaine Maxwell accountable for perpetrating heinous crimes against children,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, according to the Department of Justice. “This sentence sends a strong message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice. We again express our gratitude to Epstein and Maxwell’s victims for their courage in coming forward, in testifying at trial, and in sharing their stories as part of today’s sentencing.”
After the sentencing hearing, Maxwell’s attorneys on the courthouse steps vowed to appeal the sentencing claiming it was harsh.
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