Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years in prison for orchestrating the trafficking and abuse of young girls. Maxwell was the long-term girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire sex offender who died in jail under mysterious circumstances in 2019.
Before handing down the sentence, Judge Alison Nathan called Maxwell’s crimes “heinous and predatory,” and described how the disgraced socialite used a “playbook” to meet and groom her and Epstein’s victims over multiple years.
Nathan described the sentence of 240 months “sufficient and no graver than necessary,” noting that Maxwell was “not being punished in place of Epstein or as a proxy for Epstein.”
Maxwell was convicted in December on five charges concerning the procurement, grooming and trafficking of girls as young as 14 for sex.
Epstein had been arrested two years earlier, but died in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City before he could be brought to trial. Although Epstein’s death was ruled a suicide, the official story has been met with broad skepticism, considering the lack of surveillance camera footage from the night of his death, and the wealthy and powerful connections the deceased sex offender had.
Maxwell, who until her sentencing was also being held in a New York jail, was placed on suicide watch last week. Her lawyers claimed that this decision was made “without justification,” and denied her the opportunity to adequately prepare for her sentencing hearing.
At 60 years old, Maxwell will likely spend most of her remaining years behind bars.
Epstein and Maxwell rubbed shoulders with the world’s elites, including former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as Britain’s Prince Andrew, billionaire Bill Gates, and many others. Clinton actually flew aboard Epstein’s private jet – nicknamed the “Lolita Express” – at least 26 times, while Andrew recently settled a lawsuit brought by one of Epstein’s alleged victims who claimed she sexually abused him.
Despite justice being served against Maxwell, her so-called “little black book” of contacts – which some pundits say contains evidence of sex abuse by the rich and powerful – will remain out of the public eye, having been sealed last year by a court order.