Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday for carrying out a years-long scheme with her longtime confidante Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse underage girls.
According to CNN,
Maxwell was convicted in December on five of six counts against her, including sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy. She was acquitted on one charge of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
The British socialite was sentenced on only three counts after Judge Alison Nathan agreed that two of the conspiracy counts she faced were repetitive.
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.
Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to state prostitution charges, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died by suicide in prison a month later. Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime associate, has been detained since her arrest in July
Prior to the sentence, a number of victim impact statements were read to the court. The judge granted requests from eight women to give victim impact statements either in writing or in person at the sentencing.
Maxwell addressed victims at the sentencing and apologized.
The sentencing represents a pivotal moment in an international sex trafficking case that stretched over decades and exemplified the ways that the rich and powerful can avoid consequences for their actions.
BREAKING: Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite who once consorted with royals, presidents and billionaires, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping the late financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls. https://t.co/MC0SY1WzyN— The Associated Press (@AP) June 28, 2022
(Photo, screen grab, BBC; via CNN)