Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced For Recruiting, Grooming, And Trafficking Underage Girls For Jeffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced for recruiting, grooming, and trafficking underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse. The former socialite, who was convicted of five of the six charges against her in a Manhattan courtroom in December 2021, will now spend 20 years behind bars, Judge Alison J. Nathan announced during a hearing on Tuesday, June 28. She described the sentence as “sufficient and no graver than necessary.” With time deducted for good behavior and time served, she will be in her late 70s by the time she’s released. Maxwell was also given a $750,000 fine, the maximum allowed under the law.

  1. Judge Nathan was thoughtful in her sentencing. “As I have stated the guidelines range is 188 to 235 months imprisonment,” she told the court, adding that this was only one element she took into account when deciding on the sentence. “It is important to emphasize that although Epstein was central to this criminal scheme, Ms. Maxwell is not being punished in place of Epstein or as a proxy for Epstein.” Nathan called Maxwell’s crimes “heinous and predatory.”
  2. The seriousness of Maxwell’s crimes had to be considered. Before delivering her sentence, Judge Nathan said that Maxwell “directly and repeatedly and over the course of many years participated in a horrific scheme” to traffic and abuse underage girls. She added that Maxwell “worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable” and was “pivotal” to the facilitation of abuse. Therefore, a “substantial sentence” is warranted.
  3. The prosecution sought a minimum term of 30 years. While the offenses Maxwell had been convicted for meant she could potentially spend 55 years in prison, in a letter to Judge Nathan prior to the sentencing hearing, the prosecution sought a minimum (and some would say too lenient) of 30 years behind bars.
  4. The prosecution believes Maxwell should pay for her crimes. Alison Moe, an assistant US attorney, addressed the court on behalf of the government. She described Maxwell as Epstein’s “right hand” and said that the pair were “predators together.” Moe further claimed that Maxwell has “shown absolutely no remorse for her crimes” and has “lied repeatedly” throughout the trial.
  5. Maxwell made a conscious choice to recruit, groom, and abuse young girls. “Maxwell was an adult woman and she made choices, week in, week out for years, to commit crimes with Jeffrey Epstein, to be his right hand, to make his crimes possible. Those choices were hers and they have to have serious consequences,” Moe said. “What’s more, her actions betrayed a disturbing view of the world we live in. To Maxwell, there were two kind of people in this world – the people who really matter and the people who were disposable.”
  6. Many of Maxwell and Epstein’s victims had the opportunity to read victim impact statements during the sentencing. Annie Farmer asked Judge Nathan to “take into account the ongoing suffering of the many women she abused and exploited, as we will continue to live with the memories of the ways she harmed us.” She also pointed out Maxwell’s “Maxwell’s unwillingness to acknowledge her crimes, her lack of remorse, and her repeated lies about her victims” which caused further harm to the victims by forcing them to “engage in a long fight for justice that has felt like a black hole sucking in our precious time, energy and well-being for much too long now. Those things cannot be replaced.”
  7. Maxwell’s lawyer attempted to downplay her client’s crimes. Bobbi C. Sternheim, an attorney who once represented one of Osama Bin Laden’s most trusted aides, attempted to acknowledge the victims during the hearing. “We feel your pain,” she said, adding that she hoped the sentence would “give you some solace.”
  8. Maxwell had the opportunity to address the court. It was considered a momentous occasion by many given that she has never spoken about the case before. “Your honor, it is hard for me to address the court after listening to the pain and anguish expressed in the statements made here today,” she said. “The terrible impact on the lives of so many women is difficult to hear and even more difficult to absorb, both in its scale and in its extent.” She again tried to avoid taking responsibility for her actions, saying: “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.” She now has plenty of time to come to terms with the reality of her own actions.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.