Victims of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein smiled in court today as his right-hand man Ghislaine Maxwell was put away for decades.
Sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell has been jailed for 20 years for helping billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein get girls for sex.
She apologized in court for her crimes, saying her association with Epstein was the “greatest regret” of her life, but it wasn’t enough to prevent her long jail term.
However, the sentence is much shorter than the maximum 55 years demanded by the prosecutors.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in a New York court after being convicted of sex trafficking charges for her role in facilitating Epstein’s abuse of girls.
Judge Alison Nathan said Maxwell’s criminal activity was “extensive” and characterized her as Epstein’s “number two” and the “lady” of his home.
She will spend 20 years in prison with five years of supervised release. Maxwell also has to pay a $750.00 ($A1.1 million) fine
Australian woman Virginia Giuffre, who was one of Epstein’s most prominent victims, has accused Maxwell of “opening the door to hell”. Another of his victims said in court that Maxwell was a “monster” who deserved the maximum punishment.
The British socialite was led to federal court in New York’s Southern District at 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday, chained and dressed in blue scrubs.
She could have faced up to 55 years in prison after being found guilty in December of sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three other related charges.
Over the weekend, she was reportedly placed on suicide watch at the New York Jail where she is being held.
High-flying financier and friend of the rich and famous Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan prison in 2019.
Judge Nathan said Maxwell’s wealth affected her sentence.
“Whether you are powerful or totally unknown, no one is above the law.”
“Why did you enjoy hurting us so much?”
A lawyer for Australian-American Mrs. Giuffre, who lives in Cairns, read a statement to Maxwell during the sentencing.
“Together you have done unthinkable things that still have a corrosive effect on me to this day,” she wrote.
“I want to be clear about one thing: Jeffrey Epstein was undoubtedly a terrible pedophile. But I would never have met Jeffrey Epstein if it weren’t for you.
“For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell.
“You could have ended the rapes, the assaults, the sickening manipulations that you have staged, witnessed and even participated in. You could have called the authorities and reported that you were part of something terrible. .”
Mrs. Giuffre asked Maxwell, “Why? Why, Ghislaine, did you enjoy hurting us so much?”
“Ghislaine, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in a cell. You deserve to be locked in a cage forever, just like you locked up your victims.”
‘Ghislaine Maxwell is a monster’
Juliette Bryant’s victim statement also made no sense.
“Put simply, Ghislaine Maxwell is a monster,” said the South African.
“Since she and Jeffrey Epstein got my hands on me, I’ve never felt good.
“When I think about it, I still get regular panic attacks and nightmares.”
She called on the judge to impose the maximum sentence.
Another Epstein victim, Annie Farmer, also made a victim statement at the sentencing.
Ms Farmer said she tried to stay locked in the “dark memory” of the abuse she had suffered, but in the end she couldn’t.
“When predators nurse and then abuse or exploit children and other vulnerable people, in a sense they train them to distrust themselves.”
Ms Farmer added that Maxwell was unwilling to “acknowledge her crimes”.
“Her lack of remorse and repeated lies about her victims left many of us in a long struggle for justice that has now felt like a black hole sucking up our precious time, energy and well-being. †
Maxwell: ‘I hope my incarceration brings you pleasure’
Maxwell also read out a statement. Looking at the various victims who attended the court, she said: “I am sorry for the pain you have experienced. I hope my sentencing and hard imprisonment will bring you pleasure.”
She said Epstein was “manipulative, controlling and cunning”. But she added: “Today is not about Epstein. It is up to me to be convicted in the end.”
Prosecutors demanded a stiff sentence for Maxwell from 30 to 55 years in prison.
Maxwell’s defense team has said a sentence of that magnitude would be a “travesty of justice”. They advocated between four and 5.25 years behind bars.