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Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison for “terrible” sex trafficking – SABC News

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years in prison for aiding the sex offender and international financier Jeffrey Epstein in sexually abusing teenage girls, in what a judge called a “terrible plan” that caused “countless” injuries to victims.

A 60-year-old British woman was convicted in December of five counts, including sexually abusing minors, of having hired and groomed four girls to have sexual intercourse with Epstein, then her boyfriend, between 1994 and 2004.

Maxwell spoke of her verdict in the federal court in Manhattan before she was notified of the verdict, calling Epstein a “man-green, cunning and controlling man” who deceived everyone in his path.

She said she was “forgiving” the pain his victims were experiencing. “It’s the greatest regret of my life that I met Jeffrey Epstein,” said Maxwell.

Maxwell’s months-long trial in late 2021 was widely considered to be the conclusion that Epstein – who killed himself in a Manhattan prison cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking – never had.

This was one of the biggest issues in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual violence, often by wealthy and powerful people.

At the time of sentencing, Alison Nathan, a U.S. judge, said Maxwell did not appear to be remorseful or responsible.

“Maxwell was directly and repeatedly involved for many years in a horrific campaign to seduce, transport and smuggle underage girls, some as young as 14, for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein,” said Nathan. “The damage to these young girls was invaluable. Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said Maxwell would appeal, arguing that a public inquiry into the case before the trial “would leave little room for her to be treated fairly. “We all know that the person who should have been convicted today escaped responsibility, avoided his victims, avoided swallowing their pain and received the punishment he truly deserved,” Sternheim told reporters.

‘PATTERN TEACHING TEACHING’

Maxwell’s lawyers had suggested that she serve no more than 5-1 / 4 years, arguing that she was sentenced to life in prison for Epstein’s crimes. Prosecutors had suggested last week that she serve between 30 and 55 years in prison, but on Tuesday said the 20-year sentence would hold Maxwell accountable for “heinous crimes against children”. “This verdict sends a strong message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice,” said Damian Williams, Manhattan’s federal attorney general, in a statement.

Nathan said Maxwell’s statements showed a “pattern of guilt. “Although Epstein was, of course, the mainstay of this criminal arrangement, Mrs Maxwell is not being punished in place of Epstein or as an agent for Epstein,” Nathan said. “Ms. Maxwell was heavily involved in the abuse of several underage girls.”

In an often emotional and clear testimony during the trial, Annie Farmer, a woman known as “Kate” and two other women, testified that Maxwell, who was convicted of five counts, was the main character in their abuse by Epstein.

During an interrogation on Tuesday, Farmer, now a psychologist, said her experience of Maxwell’s exploits “caused insignificant shame” that sometimes made her feel like she was “disappearing.”

Kate said she was proud to help Maxwell take responsibility.

“Today I can look at Ghislaine and tell her that I have become what I am today despite her and her efforts to make me feel powerless and insignificant, and I will cast that reinforcement on my daughter,” Kate said.

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison for “terrible” sex trafficking – SABC News

Source link Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison for “terrible” sex trafficking – SABC News

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