Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years over sex traffickingon June 28, 2022 at 6:32 pm

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Ghislaine Maxwell apologises for helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse young girls.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005Image source, Getty Images

The sentencing hearing has begun in New York for Ghislaine Maxwell over charges of recruiting and trafficking young girls.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted of five charges of helping late financier Jeffrey Epstein – her then boyfriend – abuse four teenage girls.

One of her accusers said outside the court that Maxwell should remain in prison for the rest of her life.

Prosecutors say she deserves to serve between 30 and 55 years.

Her lawyers are calling for no more than five.

Her crimes took place over a decade, between 1994 and 2004.

Epstein, who mixed with some of the world’s most famous people, killed himself in prison in 2019.

He had been awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.

Maxwell has been in custody since her arrest in July 2020, held mostly at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has complained of the stink of raw sewage in her cell.

The case against her has been one of the highest-profile since the emergence of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse.

Maxwell, dressed in prison clothes, is present at the hearing. She spoke only to confirm she had read her pre-sentence report report and had discussed it with her legal team.

Sarah Ransome, who did not testify at the trial but was due to give an impact statement, spoke outside court alongside fellow accuser Elizabeth Stein.

“Ghislaine must die in prison because I’ve been in Hell and back for the last seventeen years,” Ms Ransome said.

“I was 10 years old when Liz Stein was being trafficked. I was ten. That is how long this sex trafficking ring has been going on for. And it should have just taken one survivor to come forward for us to be taken seriously. It should not have been this hard.”

Sarah Ransome (R) and Elizabeth Stein, alleged sexual abuse victims of Jeffrey Epstein, arrive to the United States Federal Courthouse to attend the sentencing hearing for Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted last year on sex trafficking charges related to her time working with Epstein, in New York, New York, USA, 28 June 2022.

Image source, EPA

During the trial, four women, identified in court only by their first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy, testified that they had been abused as minors at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands.

One of the women chose to use her real name, Annie Farmer, after speaking out publicly.

They recounted how Maxwell had talked them into giving Epstein massages which turned sexual, luring them with gifts and promises about how Epstein could use his money and connections to help them.

Maxwell’s lawyers have tried to portray their client as a positive influence on other inmates in jail, offering to teach them yoga and help them with English language.

The letter from the person in jail was submitted Sunday ahead of Maxwell’s scheduled sentencing, when she faces decades in prison.

Epstein’s crimes were first reported in the media in 2005 and he served prison time in Florida in 2008-09 on a state charge of procuring a minor for prostitution.

Following numerous lawsuits, he was arrested again in 2019 in a federal case in New York.

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