Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for procuring teen girls for sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein to abuse.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted of five charges in December for identifying and grooming four girls to have sexual encounters with Epstein between 1994 and 2004.
The four accusers, Annie Farmer and three others identified as Jane, Kate and Carolyn, testified that Maxwell was central to their abuse by Epstein.
“Today, I can look at Ghislaine and tell her that I became what I am today in spite of her and her efforts to make me feel powerless and insignificant, and I will cast that empowerment on my daughter,” Kate said.
US District Judge Alison Nathan said Maxwell did not appear to show remorse or take responsibility when imposing the sentence.
“Maxwell directly and repeatedly and over the course of many years participated in a horrific scheme to entice, transport and traffic underage girls, some as young as 14, for sexual abuse by and with Jeffrey Epstein,” Nathan said.
“The damage done to these young girls was incalculable.”
Prosecutors had pushed for a sentence of 30 to 55 years in prison. The British socialite’s attorneys had pushed for leniency in sentencing, saying she should get no more than five years.
One reason her defence team called for a reduced sentence is because she “doesn’t like prison” and argued that she’s faced considerable suffering during her pre-sentence detention including hair and weight loss, which the prosecution denied.
Maxwell called Epstein a “manipulative, cunning and controlling man” at her hearing in Manhattan federal court before learning the sentence and put the blame on Epstein.
“Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you, he should have stood before you all those years ago, he should have stood before you in 2005, again in 2009, and again in 2019,” she said
She said she was sorry for the pain the victims experienced.
Maxwell’s lawyers have been arguing Maxwell was a scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes.
“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,” Bobbi Sternheim, a lawyer for Maxwell, said to reporters.
Sternheim also said Maxwell would appeal the sentence.