Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in prison this week for aiding former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein in sex trafficking. It comes after the British socialite was found guilty last December of procuring and grooming four girls for Epstein between the years of 1994 and 2004. The jury came to the decision after 40 hours of six days of deliberation.
Prosecutors reportedly hoped for a sentence of 30-plus years while the attorney for Maxwell pleaded for leniency asking for “well below” the 20-year sentence. Maxwell has continued to maintain her innocence.
Maxwell was convicted of conspiracy to entice individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, conspiracy to transport individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; transportation of an individual under the age of 17 with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of individuals under the age of 18.
Speaking at the sentencing, Maxwell called Epstein a “manipulative, cunning and controlling man” and added that she was “sorry” for the pain she caused her victims .“Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you, he should have stood before you all those years ago, he should have stood before you in 2005, again in 2009, and again in 2019,” she said.
“It is the greatest regret of my life that I ever met Jeffrey Epstein.”
Epstein, who counted friends including Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton, was arrested by federal police on sex trafficking counts in July 2019. Just one month later he allegedly killed himself in a New York City jail.
Focus also turns to Prince Andrew who was accused of sexual assault in 2021. Virginia Roberts Guiffre claimed she was sexually assaulted several times while she was under the age of 18. In the wake of the shocking allegations, Prince Andrew was stripped of his royal titles and made a $20 million settlement to his accuser in February, ending his involvement in the case.
Royal correspondent for Britain’s Daily Express Richard Palmer noted that the sentencing of Maxwell is “another nail in the coffin of Prince Andrew’s tattered reputation.”