Socialite Ghislaine Maxwell learned her prison sentence on Tuesday.
Judge Alison J. Nathan sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison, a sentence that ensures the 60-year-old will likely spend much of her remaining life in prison, The New York Times reported.
Maxwell was convicted on five counts of federal sex trafficking in December.
A federal jury decided that Maxwell committed the crimes as a leading figure in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. Epstein died in New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center while awaiting his own trial.
“Maxwell was a sophisticated predator who knew exactly what she was doing,” federal prosecutor Alison Moe said in pre-sentencing arguments, according to a separate New York Times report.
“She manipulated her victims and groomed them for sexual abuse.”
Several victims of the British heiress gave statements to the court before Maxwell’s sentencing. A lawyer for Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre read a statement on her behalf.
“I would never have met Jeffrey Epstein but for you,” the statement said.
“You deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell. … You deserve to be trapped in a cage.”
Maxwell herself spoke before her sentencing, speaking publicly about Epstein for the first time since her arrest.
“I believe that Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life and fooled all of those in his orbit,” Maxwell said of her longtime lover.
“To you, all the victims … I am sorry for the pain that you experienced,” Maxwell said, stating that Epstein should’ve been the one held accountable in court.
Maxwell: I am sorry for the pain you have experience. I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you peace and finality. I hope this date bring a terrible chapter to the end.
Judge Nathan: Thank you, Ms. Maxwell. I’ll get to the statement of judgment.
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) June 28, 2022
The prosecution criticized what it described as Maxwell’s lack of remorse and refusal to take responsibility for her crimes.
The prosecution had sought a minimum sentence of 30 years with a maximum of 55 years, the Times reported.
The defense had argued for Maxwell to serve four to five years in federal prison.
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