Ex-Girlfriend Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Helping Epstein with Teen Abuse

Ex-Girlfriend Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Helping Epstein with Teen Abuse

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison by a US federal judge for having helped financial adviser Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse minors in what the magistrate called a “horrific scheme” that did wrong.” incalculable” for the victims.

The 60-year-old British socialite was convicted in December on five counts, including sex trafficking a minor, for recruiting and enticing four girls to have sexual encounters with Epstein, then her boyfriend, between 1994 and 2004.

Speaking at his hearing in a Manhattan courtroom before he learned the sentence, Maxwell called Epstein a “manipulating, cunning, controlling man” who deceived everyone in his orbit. She said she was sorry for the pain her victims experienced. “It’s the biggest regret of my life meeting Jeffrey Epstein,” she said.

The conviction of the daughter of British media mogul Robert Maxwell is less than the 30 to 55 year sentence demanded by the prosecution, however.

Maxwell’s month-long trial in late 2021 was seen as the reckoning that Epstein — who killed himself in a Manhattan cell in 2019 at age 66 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial — never had.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Alison Nathan said Maxwell did not appear to express remorse or accept responsibility. “Maxwell directly and repeatedly and over many years participated in a horrific scheme to lure, 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 women was incalculable.”

Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s attorney, said her client will appeal, arguing that the public scrutiny of the case before the trial “left little room for her to be treated fairly.”

“We all know that the person who should have been sentenced today escaped responsibility, avoided his victims, avoided receiving the punishment he really deserved,” Sternheim told reporters, referring to Epstein.

This was one of the most high-profile cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse, often committed by the wealthy and powerful.

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