As of: 06/28/2022 9:39 p.m
For decades, Ghislaine Maxwell has brought underage abuse victims to US billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. She was found guilty last year. The sentence has now been announced.
A court in New York has sentenced Ghislaine Maxwell to a long prison term for sex crimes. Judge Alison Nathan said the 60-year-old had to go to prison for 20 years, among other things, for human trafficking of minors for abuse purposes. Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes are “appalling” and “despicable,” Nathan said.
Maxwell was found guilty by a New York jury in December. She was considered the right hand of businessman Epstein, who was networked to the highest US circles, and played a central role in setting up a ring for the sexual abuse of girls. Maxwell had announced that he would appeal. The trial attracted global attention because many saw it as a proxy trial after Epstein’s death.
Great media interest in the process
She is sorry for the pain of the victims, Maxwell told the court. She regrets more than anything that she met Epstein. The defense of the 60-year-old had recently pleaded for a much milder prison sentence of less than ten years.
According to official sources, Epstein killed himself in his prison cell in the summer of 2019. The interest in the process was correspondingly huge. For the past few days, there had been some confusion as to whether Maxwell’s sentence would actually be announced because she was being held in prison for suicidal tendencies. Her lawyers denied that the defendant was suicidal.
Present at assaults
A previous indictment against Epstein resulted in a deal that was very beneficial for the entrepreneur. The abuse of numerous minors is said to have taken place at Epstein’s estates in New York, Florida, Santa Fe and the Virgin Islands for decades. The case also made waves in the United States because the entrepreneur was known to celebrities such as ex-Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, tech billionaire Bill Gates and British Prince Andrew.
According to the indictment, Maxwell’s role in the systematic abuse by Epstein was to gain the trust of girls and bring them to their former partner – often for so-called massages. A few times Maxwell was even present during attacks. She also built up a “culture of silence” to keep the crimes secret. She did this to maintain her own life of luxury with Epstein. Similar to ex-movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, her conviction was mainly based on testimonies.
Prince Andrew’s reputation is ruined
Maxwell is the daughter of legendary British publisher Robert Maxwell. She came to New York in the early 1990s. There she met Epstein at one of the numerous celebrity parties and was temporarily in a relationship with him. Those close to Epstein described her role in his life as a mix of employee and best friend.
One consequence of Epstein’s crimes was a violent uproar in the British royal family: Prince Andrew was able to stop a civil lawsuit in the USA over allegations of abuse with a comparison that was probably worth millions – but the damage to the royals is immense. He was stripped of Andrew’s military insignia of rank. He also has to do without the salutation “Royal Highness”. Returning to the inner circle of the Royals is considered almost impossible.
Epstein aide Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex crimes
Antje Passenheim, ARD New York, June 28, 2022 11:26 p.m