Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $750,000 for helping convicted sex offender and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein abuse underage girls.
District Judge Alison Nathan handed down the sentence to Maxwell six months after she was convicted by a federal jury on five charges, including sex trafficking.
Judge Nathan called Maxwell’s actions “heinous and predatory” in her sentencing. The sentence exceeded her own maximum sentencing guideline of up to 19 years and eight months, and greatly exceeded Maxwell and her defense team’s request for no more than five years and a quarter.
The jury found Maxwell guilty of recruiting and grooming four underage girls between 1994 and 2004 for sexual encounters with her former billionaire boyfriend Epstein.
Epstein, a convicted paedophile, died behind bars in 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial. The death was labeled a suicide.
Maxwell made a statement in the court before the sentence was handed down, attempting to shift blame for her actions. She claimed her association with Epstein would “stain her” and that her association with him was “the biggest regret” of her life.
Experts weighed in on her statement, saying she skirted taking responsibility for the role she played in the abuse of female children. Rather than apologize to the victims for what she did, Maxwell instead apologized for associating with Epstein.
“I am sorry for the pain you have experienced,” Maxwell said, rather than saying for the pain she caused.
Maxwell claimed Epstein should have stood before the court, “but today it is for me to be sentenced,” completely dodging accountability for actions. Law experts say that both individuals should have had their day in court.
“No one is above the law,” Judge Nathan said. “This sentence must unmistakably send the message that anyone who facilitates the sexual abuse of minors will be held accountable.”