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Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced In Jeffrey Epstein Case

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who was convicted of conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to recruit, groom, and abuse underage girls, has learned her fate in court.

U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan has sentenced Maxwell to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking.

“The guideline range applicable is 188 to 235 months imprisonment,” Judge Nathan said.

Maxwell’s behavior was “heinous and predatory,” Nathan says, noting that she worked with Epstein to select “young victims who were vulnerable.”

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“The damage done to these young girls was incalculable,” Nathan says not only of their abuse at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell but also by having to testify about it and endure “zealous cross-examination.”

Before the sentence was read, Judge Nathan overruled a series of objections that Maxwell’s lawyers had over the pre-sentence report.

“Prosecutors said Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial, sexually abused children hundreds of times over more than a decade, and couldn’t have done so without the help of Maxwell, his longtime companion, and one-time girlfriend,” the Associated Press reported.

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“Maxwell’s conduct was shockingly predatory. She was a calculating, sophisticated, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

A jury convicted Maxwell of sex trafficking, transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts, and two conspiracy charges back in December.

Prosecutors pushed for Maxwell to serve 30 to 55 years in prison.

Maxwell’s lawyers asked the court to impose a sentence of no more than 5 years.

“The witnesses at trial testified about Ms. Maxwell’s facilitation of Epstein’s abuse, but Epstein was always the central figure: Epstein was the mastermind, Epstein was the principal abuser, and Epstein orchestrated the crimes for his personal gratification,” Maxwell’s lawyers wrote in a court filing.

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The AP reported:

Over the past 17 years, scores of women have accused Epstein of abusing them. Many described Maxwell as acting as a madam who recruited them to give massages to Epstein. The trial, though, revolved around allegations from only a handful of those women. Four testified that they were abused as teens in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s mansions in Florida, New York, New Mexico, and the Virgin Islands.

Three were identified in court only by their first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy: Jane, a television actress; Kate, an ex-model from the U.K.; and Carolyn, now a mom recovering from drug addiction. The fourth was Annie Farmer, who identified herself in court by her real name after speaking out publicly.

They described how Maxwell charmed them with conversation and gifts and promises that Epstein could use his wealth and connections to help fulfill their dreams. Then, they testified, she led them to give massages to Epstein that turned sexual and played it off as normal.

Last week, Maxwell mentioned former President Bill Clinton and her connections to him in an attempt to have her sentence lessened.

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Maxwell claimed that she helped start the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and that it showed she had a “desire to do good in the world.”

In her 77-page filing, Maxwell talked about the “history of philanthropy, charitable work, and helping others namely her work with the Clinton Global Initiative.”

“Ms. Maxwell has always worked hard. Her many educational, occupational, and avocational accomplishments include becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), a helicopter pilot, a submersible pilot, a banker; partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to establish a telemedicine platform to enable people in remote areas to obtain quality medical treatment; helping develop the Clinton Global Initiative; supporting a variety non-profit and charitable organizations,” her attorney said.

“She has endeavored to contribute to society….(by) helping launch the Clinton Global Initiative,” it said.

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The claim puts a renewed spotlight on the links between Maxwell, Epstein, and the Clintons.

Epstein claimed to have helped Clinton launch the CGI. Bill Clinton also flew on Epstein’s private jet, known as the Lolita Express, dozens of times.

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