Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years

unless Ghislaine Maxwell, Dressed in a blue prison dress and shackles, she walked into the Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday morning, her descent from the heights of society and the well-being of wealth. In the two years following the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein’s British heir on charges of abetting the sexual abuse of children, the contrast between his glam life and the heinous crimes he was charged with was an incredible international saga. had a lively substance of and closely watched the federal case. News staff filled the sidewalks outside the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse as Maxwell waited to find out what his prison sentence would be.

In late December, after a three-week trial, a federal jury found Maxwell guilty of five charges of aiding in the mistreatment of Epstein. After a 20-year sentence was recommended by the Department of Probation for the Southern District of New York, Maxwell’s attorneys argued for four to five years, and prosecutors sought between 30 and 55. Maxwell is 60 years old. On Tuesday, after hearing the statements of Epstein and Maxwell’s victims and the arguments for the government and Maxwell’s defense, the judge Alison Nathan Sentenced to 20 years.

Epstein’s 2019 death in federal custody while awaiting trial, which officials ruled suicide, added an addition to the financier’s long trail of crimes, his connections with celebrities and global leaders, and justice he never saw before. created outrage. (He negotiated a non-prosecution agreement in 2008 by pleading guilty to soliciting a child for prostitution.) While Epstein never confronted his victims in court, Maxwell, his most important partner, who killed his Shared in wealth and status, heard in November and December. Four women testified about the destruction they had added to their lives.

Tuesday’s sentencing hearing provided another place for these accounts. Sarah Ransom, whose recent book, Silent no more Epstein and Maxwell, standing beside the socialite as he addressed her. She said that the pair’s “dungeon of sexual hell” eventually leads her to two suicide attempts.

“As for Ghislaine, I say, you broke me in unfathomable ways,” Ransom continued, “but you didn’t break my soul.”

During the victim’s statements, Maxwell, for the most part, looked straight ahead or at the table in front of him. She sometimes whispered to her lawyers between statements.

“In more ways than one, they almost killed me,” Elizabeth Stein He said, turning to Maxwell. He added that “for the past 25 years, Ghislaine Maxwell has been free to live a life of wealth and privilege that is almost incomprehensible.”

When it came time for Maxwell and his lawyers to make their pleas to Nathan, they did some penance, but nothing was so firm as to accept responsibility. Maxwell’s chief lawyer, Bobby Sternheim drew a parallel between his “narcissistic, cruel father”—the late, disgraced publishing baron Robert Maxwell—and the “controlling, demanding, and manipulative Jeffrey Epstein”, saying that his client’s childhood experience was his should be included in the sentence.

When Maxwell took the stage shortly after, his statement constituted his most widespread public comments in years.

“After hearing the pain and anguish expressed in today’s statements, it is difficult for me to address the court,” she said in a mostly steady tone.

Maxwell said that in the two years of solitary confinement since his arrest, he had ample opportunity to reflect on his relationship with Epstein, his “deeply divided life” and how he “fooled everyone in his class”. found. She described her association with him as “the biggest regret of my life” and one that “stained me forever and permanently”.

“Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you,” Maxwell said. She noted the years 2005, 2009 and 2019: “She has been accused, charged and prosecuted many times.”

But while Maxwell acknowledged that “today it’s not ultimately about Epstein,” he dropped his apology to victims inside and outside the courtroom in a passive voice: “I’m sorry for the pain you’ve experienced.”

In announcing his sentencing verdict and its justification, Nathan pauses to analyze the kind of language he uses. She noted that the abuse described occurred “by and with Epstein” during the trial, and reiterated those words. “Maxwell is not being punished in Epstein’s place,” Nathan said, in what may amount to a counter-argument to Maxwell’s central argument in the trial: that he was made the scapegoat. Maxwell was “instrumental” for Epstein’s abuse, Nathan said, and “he participated in some of the abuse.”

Sternheim and Maxwell acknowledged the courage and pain of the victims, who spoke, Nathan continued. But “what was not expressed,” she said, “was an acknowledgment of responsibility.”

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