Ghislaine Maxwell Given 20 Years For Sex Trafficking Jeffrey Epstein’s Victims


Disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday after being convicted on multiple counts of sex trafficking and grooming girls as young as 14 for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Key Facts

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan sentenced Maxwell, 61, to two decades in prison, five years of probation and a $750,000 fine Tuesday after saying Maxwell displayed “a lack of acceptance of responsibility,” according to Bloomberg.

Maxwell faced up to 55 years in prison for the conviction, handed down in April, which included sex trafficking a minor and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three counts of conspiracy, though she was only sentenced for one of the conspiracy charges after Nathan ruled they were repetitive.

Prosecutors had requested that Maxwell serve at least 30 years in prison.

Maxwell’s legal team asked for leniency and for her to serve 4 to 5 years, writing in a memo that Maxwell should not be sentenced “as if she were a proxy for Epstein,” who died by suicide in a New York jail in 2019 before he could face trial.

Crucial Quote

“I’m sorry for the pain that you have experienced,” said Maxwell just before she was sentenced, marking her first time addressing the court after not testifying during trial. “I acknowledge with that I have been a victim of helping Jeffrey Epstein commit these crimes,” she said according to Bloomberg, adding that Epstein “should have been here before you.” Maxwell pleaded not guilty to all charges, and maintains her innocence.


Before sentencing, Nathan allowed prosecutors to speak and for victims to give impact statements. “Maxwell was an adult woman and she made the choice, week in, week out, to commit crimes with Jeffrey Epstein, to make his crimes possible,” said federal prosecutor Alison Moe, according to Bloomberg, adding that Maxwell and Epstein “were predators together, they were partners in crime and they molested kids together.” Virginia Giuffre—an alleged victim of Epstein’s who recently settled a sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew related to Epstein—said she believes Maxwell understood the damage she was causing victims. “You could have put an end to the rapes, the molestations, the sickening manipulations that you arranged, witnessed and even took part in,” Giuffre said in a statement read by her lawyer, according to Bloomberg. “You deserve to be trapped in a cage forever, just like you trapped your victims.” Annie Farmer, who testified during the trial that Maxwell exposed himself and groped her during a nude massage when she was 16 years old, said she and other victims, as well as their friends, family and romantic partners had been negatively affected by the abuse. “The ripple effects of trauma are undeniable,” Farmer said, according to Bloomberg.

Key Background

A longtime associate and a former girlfriend of Epstein’s, Maxwell was convicted in April of five of six charges against her, and was acquitted of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts. Four women testified against Maxwell at trial, claiming she facilitated—and sometimes participated in—Epstein’s abuse. Maxwell’s legal team claimed that Maxwell’s traumatic childhood left her “vulnerable” to Epstein, writing that her media billionaire father Robert Maxwell’s “psychologically abusive treatment” of his daughter “foreshadowed Epstein’s own ability to exploit, manipulate and control her.” In closing arguments, prosecutors said Maxwell and Epstein were “partners in crime” who “sexually exploited young girls together.” Maxwell was placed on suicide watch leading up to the sentencing after she reported that jail staff were potentially “threatening her safety,” as well as the fact that convicted sex offenders are more likely to harm themselves than other convicts, prosecutors said in court documents, though a psychologist determined Maxwell was not suicidal. (Maxwell has repeatedly objected to jail conditions since her 2020 arrest.)