Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison for trafficking of minor girls
Maxwell, who was convicted of conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to groom and abuse underage girls, avoided the maximum sentence of 55 years
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December on counts of sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related conspiracy charges.
Prosecutors had asked the judge for a sentence between 30 and 55 years, according to The Associated Press, which is in line with federal sentencing guidelines. The probation department had recommended a 20-year sentence. Maxwell denied being involved in Epstein’s sexual abuse.
“A sentence of 240 months is sufficient and no graver than necessary,” said U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan, who also imposed a $750,000 fine — the maximum under the law, according to The New York Times.
Maxwell’s lawyers tried to delay the sentencing before Tuesday’s hearing, according to Newsweek, saying she had been placed on suicide watch but was not suicidal.
Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?
CNN describes Maxwell as a “British socialite,” who was Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime associate. Even after their romantic relationship ended, she “helped manage Mr. Epstein’s homes, facilitate his social relationships and recruit masseuses,” according to The New York Times.
Maxwell moved to the States in the early 1990s, after the death of her father, a British media mogul. She helped connect Epstein with high-profile friends, including Britain’s Prince Andrew — who became a frequent guest of Epstein and recently settled a lawsuit with a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her while she was under the control of Epstein and Maxwell, according to CNBC.
Next step in the Epstein saga
Maxwell’s sentencing is the latest development in the high-profile scandal that has embroiled Washington and Wall Street since Epstein’s arrest in July 2019. Epstein killed himself in August 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges, according to NBC News.
Epstein associated with many business, political and Hollywood elites. Here is a list of some of his connections, according to The Washington Post:
- Former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump both took flights on Epstein’s plane. Clinton said he knew nothing about Epstein’s “terrible crimes” and Trump said he was “not a fan” of Epstein’s in 2019.
- Prominent lawyer Alan Dershowitz — known for his role on O.J. Simpson’s legal team — served on Epstein’s legal team. Dershowitz denied accusations that he had sex with one of Epstein’s accusers at least six times.
- Filmmaker Woody Allen dined at Epstein’s home in 2010, and was seen with Epstein in New York in 2013. Actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker traveled to Africa on Epstein’s private plane.