Ghislaine Maxwell, longtime companion of child sex predator Jeffrey Epstein, was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years in prison after being convicted on multiple conspiracy and sex trafficking charges.
The sentencing comes two years after Maxwell, 60, was arrested at her secretive million-dollar home in New Hampshire and was brought to New York to face justice. She has been in federal custody ever since because she was denied bail.
Maxwell was convicted in December of conspiring with Epstein to recruit, groom, and sexually abuse young girls. She was convicted of “sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy,” CNN reported.
The New York Times noted that Maxwell’s lawyers tried to cast her as a victim in the case, claiming that the U.S. government only went after her following Epstein’s death in prison. Bloomberg News added that in her sentencing memo, “Maxwell argued for leniency, saying she and her siblings had been mentally and physically abused as children by their father, British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell.”
“There would be no trial for Epstein and no public vindication and justice for his accusers,” the lawyers wrote. “The government now had a huge hole to fill: Epstein’s empty chair.”
The office of Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, slammed the attempts from Maxwell and her team to try to shift blame for her actions.
Prosecutors said that her attempt “to cast aspersions on the government for prosecuting her, and her claim that she is being held responsible for Epstein’s crimes, are both absurd and offensive.”
“Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can,” the prosecutors added.
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