Although she had been placed on suicide watch and her attorney threatened to ask for a continuance, Ghislaine Maxwell’s sentencing hearing went forward as planned on Tuesday. Several of the victims of her crimes appeared in court to tell their stories.
U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan sentenced Maxwell to 20 years, the most either perpetrator received, because Jeffrey Epstein killed himself while awaiting trial. Prosecutors asked for 30 to 55 years due to the number of victims and Maxwell’s refusal to accept any responsibility for her actions. The U.S. Department of Probation recommended 20 years based on federal guidelines. The judge calculated a sentence of 15 1/2 to 19 1/2 but gave her a slightly higher sentence, citing Maxwell’s “direct and repeated participation in a horrific scheme.” She also made it clear that “Miss Maxwell is not punished in place of Epstein. Miss Maxwell is being punished for the role that she played.”
During the sentencing hearing, Maxwell chose to testify, something she did not do at her trial. Her legs shackled, she said, “Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you. It is not about Epstein, ultimately. It is for me to be sentenced.”
Maxwell herself asked to only serve five years, saying through her attorney that “Epstein was the mastermind, Epstein was the principal abuser.” Still accepting no personal responsibility, she also said, “I am sorry for the pain that you’ve experienced, I hope my conviction … brings you closure.”
The US. Attorney for the Southern District of New York tweeted about it:
Eight victims provided victim impact statements for the court. Two of Maxwell and Epstein’s victims are sisters, Maria and Annie Farmer. Annie Farmer wrote “[t]his toxic combination of being sexually exposed and exploited, feeling confused and naïve, blaming myself all resulted in significant shame. That sickening feeling that makes you want to disappear.”
Maria Farmer described having PTSD and said Maxwell threatened her. “She assured me that I could be killed walking down my favorite path in NYC,” and “….[h]er threats have never left my mind and I believe she will harm me if she ever has a way. Please keep this in mind when determining her terms of imprisonment. She is a very dangerous and devious individual.”
Another victim described being in a “dungeon of sexual hell,” while another said “[s]imply put, Ghislaine Maxwell is a monster.”
“Today’s sentence holds Ghislaine Maxwell accountable for perpetrating heinous crimes against children. This sentence sends a strong message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.
It would seem that this story is now over, but there is still the subject of all of the high-powered men who Epstein and Maxwell socialized with during the time when their victims were abused. Plus, Maxwell’s attorney said she will appeal. Do you believe there’s a list of those high-powered men? If so, who’s on it?