Ghislaine Maxwell has been given a 20-year prison term.
updated at 3:56 PM ET on June 28, 2022
Disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell received a 20-year prison term for her role in the juvenile sex trafficking operation that financier Jeffrey Epstein ran with her assistance for ten years.
The sentence given on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan is the most tangible one to date for the years of abuse that Maxwell and Epstein inflicted on young girls.
Many of those girls, who are now adults, testified during the trial, bravely revealing the years of abuse they endured after being drawn into Maxwell and Epstein's orbit. The two frequently made advantage of their connections to prominent figures like Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump as well as the appeal of riches.
In a statement posted to Twitter by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that "Today's sentencing holds Ghislaine Maxwell accountable for committing horrible crimes against children." It is strongly implied by this sentence that no one is above the law and that justice can always be served.
Tuesday was a second hearing for the women. Over Maxwell's protests, eight women sent victim impact statements to the court outlining the long-term repercussions of Maxwell's actions. Six of the victims were also permitted to speak at the hearing, according to Nathan's decision.
Epstein lavishly rewarded Maxwell, the United States claims,
Maxwell and Epstein "worked together to find girls, groom them, and then lure them to travel and bring them to Epstein's residences," according to US authorities, from 1994 to 2004. It is claimed that the couple frequently commuted between Epstein's mansion on Manhattan's Upper East Side, a villa in Palm Beach, a ranch in New Mexico, a private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a Paris flat.
They claim that in exchange, Maxwell lived a "lavish lifestyle" and was catered to by private personnel.
Maxwell also received a townhouse in New York City that Epstein purchased for her, and throughout the course of the conspiracy, Epstein transferred a total of almost $23 million to Maxwell, according to the sentencing memorandum.
Additionally, according to the prosecution, Maxwell "fostered a culture of silence" at Epstein's homes by telling housekeeping staff to "see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing" until specifically questioned.
Since the alleged offenses were perpetrated at Epstein's properties and not those that Maxwell owned, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York did not attempt to have Maxwell surrender any real estate.
Victims said that threats came after years of abuse,
When Maria Farmer first met Maxwell and Epstein in 1996, she claimed they destroyed her chances of succeeding as an artist. She also disclosed to the judge that years of abuse and threats have left her with PTSD.
She told me that I might get killed in NYC while strolling down my favorite trail, Farmer recalled. "Her threats have never left my mind, and I have no doubt that if she ever has the means, she will hurt me. Please consider this when deciding how long she should be imprisoned. She is a cunning and dangerous person."
Sarah Ransome, a different victim, claimed that Epstein and Maxwell threatened to kill her family if she ever attempted to flee from what she refers as as a "dungeon of sexual hell." The judge was informed by Ransome, who fled to the U.K. in 2007, that she has evidence Epstein tried to track her down ten years later.
Her declaration was accompanied by images that she said showed her in the hospital, gravely hurt after surviving two suicide attempts.
Another survivor, Juliette Bryant, stated in her succinct statement that Ghislaine Maxwell is a monster. Bryant echoed previous sentiments by expressing her gratitude for the atrocities' exposure and the possibility of a just resolution.
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