Epstein case, Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years

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Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years because she was found guilty of luring and manipulating minors, then sexually abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein, her ex-boyfriend who committed suicide in his cell while awaiting a trial for the same affair. New York judge Alison Nathan decided on the maximum sentence under American justice guidelines, six months after a New York jury found her guilty of the same offenses. The prosecution had asked for a sentence between 30 and 55 years, the defense a “well under” 20 years, invoking the childhood of the woman traumatized by her father, a former publishing magnate and former British MP.

Maxwell: “Having met Epstein, my great regret”

Before reading the sentence against him in the Epstein case, Ghislaine Maxwell said that “it is the greatest regret of my life to have known Jeffrey Epstein”. The woman described her ex-boyfriend as a “manipulative, crafty and self-possessed man” who deceived all of her into her orbit, and she said she was “sorry” for the pain her victims suffered.

Reading the sentence

Maxwell was found guilty six months ago of luring and manipulating minors between 1994 and 2004 to be sexually abused by Epstein. Thus ends one of the trials that caused the most sensation in America and in the world, especially in the United Kingdom, another country where Maxwell boasted high-ranking friends, up to Buckingham Palace. Also reading the sentence were Annie Farmer and a woman known as “Kate”, two of the four accusers. It was they who nailed Maxwell with brave and heartbreaking testimonies that convinced the jury. The prosecution had asked for a sentence of between 30 and 55 years denouncing her conduct “scandalously predatory”, with a “ruthless contempt for other human beings”. “She was a calculating, sophisticated and dangerous criminal who preyed upon vulnerable girls and educated them for sexual abuse,” they attacked prosecutors in the indictment, referring to the fact that the victims were generally poor minors with difficult histories. . The defense had instead asked for a sentence “well below” of 20 years, no more than 5-6 years, arguing that the woman is the scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes and invoking his “difficult, traumatic childhood, with an overbearing father. , narcissistic and demanding “. A reference to Robert Maxwell, a former publishing magnate and former British MP who died falling from his yacht under mysterious circumstances.

The Epstein case

Ghislaine, according to the defense, would have met Epstein immediately after the death of his father and “it was the biggest mistake of his life”. The defense had also tried in vain to have the trial canceled due to a juror’s failure to declare that he had been a victim of abuse. And he had complained about the harsh conditions of detention of the woman at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, comparing them to those of Hannibal, the serial killer played by Anthony Hopkins in the film. The silence of the lambs. Maxwell had been placed on suicide surveillance in recent days, fearing that he could take his own life as Epstein did in 2019. The whole affair, from the arrest of the financier to that of his ex-girlfriend, had made the world of jet set between the two sides of the Atlantic: in the lap of the couple were characters such as Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, who paid a millionaire compensation to close the lawsuit for harassment brought to him by Virginia Giuffre, one of the Maxwell’s victims.