On Tuesday, Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding the late financier Jeffrey Epstein in his sexual abuse of underage girls for at least a decade between the 1990s and 2000s. Following a criminal trial, Maxwell was found guilty last December of conspiring with Epstein – an associate and romantic partner for a period of time — to groom, recruit and sexually abuse minors as part of Epstein’s now-infamous trafficking ring. Maxwell was convicted of multiple charges related to sex trafficking and conspiracy.
Maxwell’s defense team had asked to postpone her sentencing hearing because she was suddenly moved to solitary confinement, arguing that Maxwell’s hearing should be rescheduled since solitary confinement meant she was unable to prepare for it. Despite reports about her mental state, attorneys said that Maxwell was not at risk of suicide prior to the transfer.
The 60-year-old Maxwell was indicted in July of 2020 and taken into federal custody where she was held without bail for 16 months leading up to her trial. Her arrest came about a year after Epstein died by apparent suicide in his New York City jail cell while facing federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. Maxwell pleaded not guilty to all charges originally brought against her, and was acquitted of one count of enticing a minor to travel across state lines to engage in an illegal sex act. She never took the stand to testify during the trial, saying she felt there was “no reason” to formally defend herself before the court because “the government [had] not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
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