Ghislaine Maxwell Gets 20 Years for Sex Trafficking Teens with Epstein

”I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you closure,” the convicted predator told her victims in court Tuesday

Ghislaine Maxwell, the former British socialite convicted in December for her role in luring teenage girls for billionaire sex predator Jeffrey Epstein and herself to abuse, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday.

Before getting hit with the sentence, Maxwell, 60, addressed the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, saying, “I believe that Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life and filled all of those in his orbit,” Fox News reports.

The jury found the late Epstein’s former girlfriend guilty of recruiting and grooming teenage girls for sexual abuse with her and Epstein between 1994 and 2004 at the financier’s mansions and estates in Manhattan, New Mexico, Florida and the Virgin Islands.

Although Maxwell was about to be sentenced on counts including sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and a related count of conspiracy—Ghislaine was still all about Ghislaine to the bitter end.

Turning to the gallery, which included several of her victims, Maxwell said, “I am sorry for the pain that you experienced. I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you closure.”

Eight women read victim impact statements.

Annie Farmer, Fox reports, wrote in hers that although she had tried suppress the “dark memory” of the crimes Maxwell and Epstein committed against her, what they did left her with a “sickening feeling that makes you want to disappear.”

Urging the judge to give Maxwell an appropriate sentence, Farmer said the fight to bring Maxwell to justice “felt like a black hole sucking in our precious time, energy and well-being.”

Maxwell tried to portray herself as another of Epstein’s victims, but Judge Alison Nathan countered that argument, the New York Times reports. Calling the crimes “heinous and predatory,” Nathan said, “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.”

Nathan also imposed a $750,000 fine on Maxwell, noting that she received a bequest of $10 million from Epstein, who killed himself while in custody at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center in August, 2019.

Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said that her client had not received the money from the bequest and does not expect to, according to the Times. The judge replied that she still has reason to believe that Maxwell has the money to pay the fine.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Maxwell to 30 to 55 years in prison, while the probation department recommended 20 years. Maxwell’s attorneys requested a more lenient sentence of between 4.25 and 5.25 years in prison, CNN reports.

In the defense’s sentencing memo, Maxwell’s attorneys said she suffered a “difficult, traumatic childhood” and that her father, British media baron Robert Maxwell, was so overbearing that he left her “vulnerable” to Epstein—adding that meeting him was the “biggest mistake she made in her life.”

Prosecutors blasted that premise as “absurd and offensive” in their responding memo, according to CNN.

“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices,” they wrote. “She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls. She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims. She should be held accountable for her disturbing role in an extensive child exploitation scheme.”

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