In what a judge called a “horrific scheme” that inflicted “untold” harm on victims, Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for helping financial and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls.
The 60-year-old British socialite was convicted in December on five counts. They included sex trafficking of a minor, and for recruiting and grooming four girls to have sexual encounters with Epstein, then her boyfriend, between 1994 and 2004.
At his sentencing hearing in federal court in Manhattan, Maxwell called Epstein a “manipulating, cunning, controlling man” who deceived everyone in his orbit. Additionally, she said she was “sorry” for the pain her victims experienced. “It is the biggest regret of my life to have met Jeffrey Epstein,” Maxwell said.
Maxwell’s month-long trial in late 2021 was seen as the reckoning Epstein never had, as he committed suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial. It was one of the most high-profile trials following the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse.