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[WATCH] Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced to 20 Years in Jeffrey Epstein Sex Abuse Case

[WATCH] Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced to 20 Years in Jeffrey Epstein Sex Abuse Case

Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in a US prison for helping disgraced former financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse young girls. Maxwell was convicted in December of recruiting and trafficking four teenage girls for Epstein, her then-boyfriend who killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting his own trial. Maxwell’s crimes took place over a decade, between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell didn’t testify in her defense during the trial late last year, which ended with her conviction on five counts, including sex trafficking of a minor. While she acknowledged that she had been convicted in the sex trafficking scheme but stopped short of taking responsibility, and she spoke in court on Tuesday to the victims shortly before the sentence was handed down. “Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you,” Maxwell said at the podium, her legs shackled. “It is not about Epstein, ultimately. It is for me to be sentenced.”

“I am sorry for the pain that you’ve experienced,” Maxwell continued. “I hope my conviction … brings you closure.”

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.

Judge Alison Nathan calculated that the sentencing guidelines called for about 15½ to 19½ years in prison. Yet she delivered a sentence slightly above that range, noting the victims’ disturbing testimony and Maxwell’s “direct and repeated participation in a horrific scheme.”
“Miss Maxwell is not punished in place of Epstein,” she said. “Miss Maxwell is being punished for the role that she played.”

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Maxwell’s defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim said Maxwell planned to appeal the conviction and, as she did during the trial, pushed the blame onto Epstein. “We all know that the person who should have been sentenced today escaped accountability, avoided his victims, avoided absorbing their pain and receiving the punishment he truly deserved,” Sternheim said. “Jeffrey Epstein left Ghislaine Maxwell holding the whole bag.”

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