Ghislaine Maxwell apologises "for the pain caused" as she receives 20 year prison sentence

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Photo credit: D Dipasupil - Getty Images
Photo credit: D Dipasupil - Getty Images

Ghislaine Maxwell, the ex-partner of multi-millionaire sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, has been sentenced to twenty years in prison after being found guilty of sex trafficking. The court ruled that she had lured in four young girls on behalf of Epstein (who died in jail in 2019 via an apparent suicide), who then abused them. Maxwell's crimes span the course of a decade between 1994 and 2004.

Issuing the sentence, Judge Alison J Nathan remarked that Maxwell's behaviour was "heinous and predatory" and that the sentencing was not an overzealous one in lieu of Epstein being unable to take the stand and receive punishment himself.

"Ms Maxwell worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable and played a pivotal role in facilitating sexual abuse," Judge Nathan stated, adding that the ruling sends an "unmistakable message" that such activities will receive proper punishment.

Photo credit: Spencer Platt - Getty Images
Photo credit: Spencer Platt - Getty Images

Appearing to show remorse in court, Maxwell apologised to the victims for what they've been through. "I'm sorry for the pain you have experienced [...] My association with Epstein will permanently stain me."

She added that she hopes the verdict can offer them "peace and finality".

In her impact statement read out to the court, one victim, Annie Farmer, said she had kept what happened to her buried for years: "For a long time, I wanted to erase from my mind the crimes that Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein committed against me and pretend they hadn't happened.

"I didn't talk about it for years. It was the type of dark memory that feels safest to keep locked away, and so I did the best I could. The world did not cooperate with this strategy, however. Something would bring to mind this experience and my body would respond with an upset stomach and physical shakiness. I'd feel irritable, have trouble focusing, and feel disoriented...

"One of the most painful and ongoing impacts of Maxwell and Epstein's abuse was a loss of trust in myself, my perceptions, and my instincts."

Virginia Giuffre, another woman who came forward to accuse Epstein and Maxwell of crimes (along with Prince Andrew) added that Maxwell "opened the door to hell".

In a public letter, she wrote, "Ghislaine, 22 years ago, in the summer of 2000, you spotted me at the Mar-a-Lago Hotel in Florida, and you made a choice. You chose to follow me and procure me for Jeffrey Epstein. Together, you damaged me physically, mentally, sexually, and emotionally... Without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible paedophile. But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you".

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