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Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex crimes

#Ghislaine #Maxwell #sentenced #years #prison #sex #crimes

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday by a New York judge to 20 years in prison for helping disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse girls.

The term, handed down in Manhattan federal court, means the 60-year-old former socialite will spend much of the rest of her life in prison.

The Oxford-educated daughter of the late British press baron Robert Maxwell was convicted late last year of five out of six charges, the most serious for underage sex trafficking.

Her lawyers had pleaded for leniency, citing a traumatic childhood and claiming Maxwell was being unjustly punished because Epstein escaped trial.

They had asked for a maximum of five years, while prosecutors had asked for between 30 and 55 years in prison.

In the end, Judge Alison Nathan left at 20, the length of time recommended by the US Parole Board.

During Maxwell’s high-profile trial in late 2021, prosecutors successfully proved that she was “key” to Epstein’s plan to trick young girls into giving him massages during which he sexually abused them.

Two of Epstein’s victims, identified as “Jane” and “Carolyn,” testified that they were only 14 years old when Maxwell began grooming them.

Maxwell’s attorneys said her client had “a difficult, traumatic childhood with an overbearing, narcissistic and demanding father.”

“It made her vulnerable to Epstein, whom she met right after her father died,” they wrote in filings filed earlier this month.

Money manager Epstein killed himself in prison in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting his own sex crimes trial in New York.

“Ms. Maxwell cannot and should not bear the full penalty for which Epstein should have been held responsible,” pleaded her attorneys.


But prosecutors claimed in their own court filing last week that Maxwell was “an adult who made her own decisions.”

They argued that she showed a “complete lack of remorse” for her crimes committed between 1994 and 2004.

“Today’s verdict holds Ghislaine Maxwell responsible for committing heinous crimes against children,” said Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“This phrase sends a powerful message that no one is above the law and that it is never too late for justice,” he added.

Maxwell has been in prison for about two years since her arrest in New Hampshire in the summer of 2020.

“Ghislaine must die in prison,” Maxwell and Epstein’s accuser Sarah Ransome told reporters in court.

Maxwell’s conviction caps a dramatic fall for the former international jet setter, who grew up in wealth and privilege as a friend of royalty.

Her circle included Britain’s Prince Andrew, former US President and real estate baron Donald Trump, and the Clinton family.

In February, Prince Andrew settled a sex abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, who said she was sold to the royals by Epstein and Maxwell.

In April, Nathan denied Maxwell’s request for a new trial.

She unsuccessfully argued that a juror who had boasted about convincing other panelists to convict Maxwell by recalling his own experiences as a sexual abuse victim biased the jury.

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