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Ghislaine Maxwell, the former aide to Jeffrey Epstein, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in recruiting, grooming, and abusing underage girls by a judge this afternoon.
Federal prosecutors had asked Judge Alison Nathan to sentence Maxwell to 30 to 55 years in prison, while Maxwell’s attorneys requested a sentence between four to five years.
Judge Nathan ultimately sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison for her December conviction of five counts, including sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy.
“Miss Maxwell is not punished in place of Epstein,” Judge Nathan told the courtroom. “Miss Maxwell is being punished for the role that she played.”
Maxwell spoke to the victims before her sentencing saying “Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you. It is not about Epstein, ultimately. It is for me to be sentenced.”
Ghislaine Maxwell gets 20 years in prison
Epstein was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July of 2019, and died by suicide in prison a month later. Maxwell has been detained since her arrest in July of 2020.
Judge Nathan went above the sentencing guidelines of 15 to 19 years in prison in part because of Maxwell’s “direct and repeated participation in a horrific scheme.”
Before the sentencing, four women gave victim impact statements of the long-lasting effects of Maxwell and Epstein’s sex trafficking ring.
Judge Nathan told the victim’s that “today’s sentence will attempt to acknowledge the harm that Miss Maxwell has caused.”