A judge sentenced disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to 20 years in prison. Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and three counts of conspiracy.
Prosecutors wanted her to be sentenced to 35 and 55 years behind bars, while her legal team asked for a much shorter sentence of 51 to 63 weeks in jail plus 20 years of probation.
Before the judge handed down the sentence, some of Maxwell’s victims spoke to the court.
“I felt tremendous survivor’s guilt,” said Annie Farmer, one of the four women to testify during Maxwell’s trial. “This toxic combination of being sexually exposed and exploited, feeling confused and blaming myself, all results in significant shame.”
“The number of people harmed is impossible to measure,” she added.
Virginia Giuffre, who did not appear in court, said that Maxwell was just as much to blame as disgraced billionaire Jeffery Epstein.
“I want to be clear about one thing: Without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible pedophile. But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you,” she wrote in a letter read by her lawyer. “You could have put an end to the rapes, the molestations, the sickening manipulations that you arranged, witnessed, and even took part in. You could’ve called the authorities and reported that you were a part of something awful.”
Before she was sentenced, Maxwell apologized to her victims.
“I am sorry for the pain that you experienced,” she said. “I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you pleasure.”