Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking charges

Ghislaine Maxwell
FILE — In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell enters the courtroom escorted by U.S. Marshalls at the start of her trial, Nov. 29, 2021, in New York. Maxwell faces the likelihood of years in prison when she is sentenced for helping the wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls. The sentencing hearing, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in New York will be the culmination of a prosecution that detailed how Epstein and Maxwell flaunted their riches and associations with prominent people to groom vulnerable girls and then exploit them. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams, File) Elizabeth Williams/AP

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for sex trafficking charges

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Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in facilitating former financier Jeffrey Epstein‘s abuse of several underage girls.

Maxwell, the former Epstein girlfriend and confidante, was found guilty on five counts, including “transporting a minor for the purposes of criminal sexual activity,” “conspiring to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts,” and perjury related to statements she made in 2016. The former Epstein associate said that meeting the millionaire was the “biggest regret” of her life.

“Jeffrey Epstein should have stood before you. In 2005. In 2009. And again in 2019,” Maxwell said during her appearance in court. “But today, it is for me to be sentenced.”

“I am sorry for the pain you have experienced. I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you peace and finality,” Maxwell said. “I hope this date brings a terrible chapter to the end.”


While some viewed Maxwell’s trial as a proxy for Epstein’s, the judge stated that her punishment did not reflect that.

“Ms. Maxwell is not being punished as a proxy of Epstein, but rather for her role in the criminal conduct,” the judge said. “She participated in some of the abuse. Her conduct was heinous and predatory.”

Multiple victims of Epstein released statements during the hearing, according to the Independent. Eight of the statements were pre-released by the victims, including Virginia Giuffre and Annie Farmer.

“I experience flashbacks,” said Giuffre in her statement, elaborating on how Epstein and Maxwell both lured her in with promises of getting her into fashion school. “I am hyper-vigilant and do not trust people easily. I will sometimes start crying for reasons I cannot always comprehend. I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD and tendency to self-harm.” The woman noted how she attempted to take her own life twice, stating that “only by the grace of God do I continue to live.”

Maxwell had pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts, but she was found guilty on five of six counts in December 2021.

Her prison sentence has been a point of contention. While prosecutors have pushed for a sentence that was between 30 and 55 years long, Maxwell’s legal team has advocated something shorter, explicitly noting the “onerous and punitive” conditions she lived in, as well as the extensive isolation, the physical search, and “credible” death threats.

Maxwell was placed on suicide watch on Friday, leading her legal team to say that her sentencing should be delayed. Prosecutors later revealed that she was placed on suicide watch after prison staff allegedly threatened to kill her.

Federal prosecutors stated in their memorandum requesting a lengthy prison sentence that Maxwell had an “instrumental role in the horrific sexual abuse of multiple young teenage girls” and that Maxwell enjoyed “a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege” while engaging in a “disturbing agreement” with Epstein.


Epstein was arrested in July 2019 and charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy for allegedly abusing girls as young as 14. He pleaded not guilty to the charges before being found dead in his Manhattan prison cell in August 2019. His death at 66 was ruled a suicide by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office.

Maxwell’s trial has been treated as a proxy for Epstein due to his 2019 death.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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