Ghislaine Maxwell – the former girlfriend of deceased billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein – has been jailed for 20 years for her role in sex trafficking and grooming underage girls.
Prosecutors had suggested a sentence of 30 to 50 years in federal prison, but Judge Alison Nathan sentenced the 60-year-old French woman to much less time behind bars.
Maxwell’s long-time confidante Epstein committed suicide while in custody on 10 August 2019.
During the trial Maxwell “took the fifth” and did not testify in her defense, but on Tuesday she spoke in court.
Addressing the victims before she was sentenced, Maxwell suggested she was being punished in place of her dead former lover.
“Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you,” she said, adding: “I am sorry for the pain that you’ve experienced,” Maxwell said. “I hope my conviction… brings you closure.”
Maxwell’s lawyers have indicated they intend to appeal the sentence which also included a fine of US $750 000,
Prior to sentencing, she had been placed on suicide watch.
The Guardian reports that it is almost 30 years since Ghislaiaine Maxwell’s father, the press baron Robert Maxwell, fell to his death from his £15m yacht, Lady Ghislaine, off the Canary Islands, aged 68.
Even now there is talk of suicide, or murder – perhaps by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.