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Madame Jeffrey Epstein sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking

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Nathan refused to let Maxwell escape guilt and made it clear that Maxwell was being punished for her own actions, not Epstein’s. She called the crimes “horrific and predatory” and said that as a sophisticated adult woman, Maxwell provided the veneer of safety as she “normalized” sexual abuse through her involvement, encouragement and instruction.

Several survivors described their sexual abuse, including Farmer, who said she and her sister tried to make their stories about Epstein and Maxwell public two decades ago, but were turned off by the powerful couple through threats and influence with authorities.

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein in the Queen's Balmoral cabin in 1999.

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein in the Queen’s Balmoral cabin in 1999. Credit:US District Attorney’s Office

In the crowded courtroom, three of Maxwell’s siblings sat in a row behind her. Most of the other attendees were members of the media.

Assistant US attorney Alison Moe told how Maxwell subjected girls to “horrific nightmares” by taking them to Epstein.

“They were partners in crime together and they molested these children together,” she said, calling Maxwell “a person who was indifferent to the suffering of other people.”

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Epstein and Maxwell’s associations with some of the world’s most famous people weren’t a prominent part of the process, but mentions of friends like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Britain’s Prince Andrew showed how the pair exploited their connections to impress. their prey.

Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim promised to appeal. She said Epstein left Maxwell “with the whole bag in his hand”. “We all know that the person who should have been sentenced today escaped responsibility, avoided his victims, avoided absorbing their pain and received the punishment he really deserved,” she said.

Over the past 17 years, dozens of women have accused Epstein of abusing them, with many describing Maxwell as the lady who recruited them. However, the trial revolved around accusations made by only a handful of those women.

Four testified that they were abused as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s in Epstein’s mansions in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands.

Three were identified in court by their first name or pseudonym only to protect their privacy: Jane, a television actress; Kate, an ex-model from the UK; and Carolyn, now a mother recovering from drug addiction. The fourth was Farmer, the only prosecutor to identify herself by her real name in court after speaking out publicly.

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They described how Maxwell enchanted them with talks and gifts, promising that Epstein could use his wealth and connections to fulfill their dreams.

Then, they testified, she led them to give Epstein massages that turned sexual and played it out like normal.

Carolyn testified that she was one of several underprivileged teens living near Epstein’s Florida home in the early 2000s and accepted an offer to give him a massage in exchange for $100 bills in what prosecutors described as “a pyramid of abuse”.

Maxwell arranged everything, Carolyn told the jury, even though she knew the girl was only 14 at the time.

The allegations against Epstein first came out into the open in 2005. He pleaded guilty to sexual charges in Florida and served 13 months in prison, largely on a work exemption program as part of a deal criticized as lenient. After that, he had to register as a sex offender.

A courtroom sketch of Ghislaine Maxwell on December 20, 2021.

A courtroom sketch of Ghislaine Maxwell on December 20, 2021.Credit:AP

In the years that followed, many women sued Epstein for alleged abuse. One, Virginia Giuffre, claimed that Epstein and Maxwell also pressured her to have sexual hookups with other powerful men, including Prince Andrew. All those men denied the charges, and Giuffre eventually settled Andrew out of court.

Federal prosecutors in New York have revived the case against Epstein after stories from the Miami Herald in 2018 brought new attention to his crimes. He was arrested in 2019, but committed suicide a month later.

Eleven months after his death, Maxwell was arrested at a New Hampshire estate. She is an American, British and French citizen and has been in a federal prison in New York City ever since, as her lawyers have repeatedly criticized her treatment, saying she was even wrongfully placed under suicide watch days before her sentencing. Prosecutors say the prison allegations are exaggerated and Maxwell has been treated better than other inmates.

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Her attorneys also fought to have her conviction overturned on the grounds of the juror’s misconduct. Days after the verdict, a juror gave media interviews in which he revealed that he had been sexually abused as a child — something he failed to tell the court during the jury selection. Maxwell’s lawyers said she deserved a new trial. A judge disagreed.

At least eight women filed letters to the judge, describing the sexual abuse they said they endured for meeting Maxwell and Epstein. Six of Maxwell’s seven surviving siblings wrote to plead for leniency. Maxwell’s fellow inmate has also submitted a letter detailing how Maxwell has helped train other inmates over the past two years.

Anne Holve and Philip Maxwell, her oldest siblings, wrote that her relationship with Epstein began shortly after the death of their father, British newspaper mogul Robert Maxwell, in 1991.

They said Robert Maxwell had subjected his daughter to “frequent rapid mood swings, huge rages and rejections”.

“This led to her becoming very vulnerable to abusive and powerful men who could take advantage of her innate good nature,” they wrote.

Before her fate was announced, Maxwell looked down and scribbled on a notepad while Sarah Ransome – a prosecutor whose charges were not included in this trial – spoke of the lasting damage to her life, looking straight at Maxwell several times.

Ransome, who twice tried to die by suicide, finally caught a look from Maxwell when she said, “You broke me in unfathomable ways, but you didn’t break my spirit.”

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