June 28, 2022
Convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for recruiting and grooming teenage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell, 60, a British socialite, was slapped with a sentence that was less with the 30 to 55 years that federal prosecutors had been seeking for her “instrumental role in the horrific sexual abuse of multiple young teenage girls.”
Maxwell is the multimillionaire daughter of the late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell.
Prosecutors had sought the maximum allowable fine of $750,000.
Annie Farmer, the only one of Maxwell’s four accusers to testify under her full real name during the trial, was expected to address the court, along with several other women, after the sentence is imposed, said Farmer’s attorney, Sigrid McCawley.
The sentencing closed a chapter in the salacious saga of Epstein, a once-powerful financier whose friends and contacts included powerful men from former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton to Britain’s Prince Andrew — and who escaped justice by hanging himself in 2019 in a Manhattan federal prison cell while he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell was convicted in December of five federal sex trafficking charges after a three-week trial during which defense attorneys tried and failed to convince the jury that the chief reason prosecutors went after her was that they could no longer go after Epstein.
Prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed last week in U.S. District Court for Southern New York that Maxwell enjoyed “a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege” while she engaged in a “disturbing agreement” with Epstein.
“Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can,” the prosecutors added.
Her attempts to “cast aspersions on the Government for prosecuting her, and her claim that she is being held responsible for Epstein’s crimes, are both absurd and offensive,” they wrote in response to assertions by Maxwell’s attorneys at trial and in a bail application, a sentencing memorandum and other documents that followed.