Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite convicted late last year for helping financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls, was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison.
“A 240-month sentence is sufficient and no more severe than necessary,” U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan said as he delivered the sentence.
Nathan addressed those gathered at the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, including Maxwell and some of her victims.
“Mrs. Maxwell has participated directly and repeatedly over many years in a horrific plan,” Nathan said. “Ma’am. Maxwell worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable.”
The judge said Maxwell played a “critical” role in facilitating “atrocious and predatory” abuse. Nathan was also fined $750,000, the maximum possible amount under the law.
In December, Maxwell was convicted by a jury of five charges, including human trafficking, transporting a minor to engage in illegal sex acts, and two conspiracy charges.
Federal prosecutors demanded a prison term ranging from 30 to 55 years.
“Maxwell’s behavior was shockingly predatory,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. “She was a calculating, sophisticated and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and prepared them for sexual abuse.”
Her lawyers had demanded the judge four to five years in prison.
Before Maxwell’s verdict was passed, the judge heard impact statements from victims, including Annie Farmer, who testified she was 16 when Maxwell introduced her to Epstein, and a woman identified as Kate who told jurors that Maxwell once called her a “schoolgirl.” had given. outfit to wear when meeting him.
An attorney for another victim, Virginia Giuffre, read a statement on her behalf that addressed Maxwell directly.
“You deserve to spend the rest of your life in a cell,” the statement said. “You deserve to be locked in a cage.”
Maxwell has been held in the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center since her arrest at a New Hampshire estate in July 2020.
Epstein committed suicide in prison in 2019, a month after being indicted on federal sex trafficking charges.
During the sentencing, Maxwell had the opportunity to address the court and her victims.
“Your Honor, it is difficult for me to address the court after listening to the pain and sorrow expressed in the statements made here today,” she said. “The horrific impact on the lives of so many women is hard to hear and even worse hard to absorb, both in magnitude and magnitude.
“I believe Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a deeply compartmentalized life and fooled everyone in his job,” Maxwell continued. “But today isn’t about Jeffrey Epstein.”
Maxwell added: “To you all victims…I’m sorry for the pain you have experienced.”