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Ghislaine Maxwell addressed her victims shortly before being sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking.
The disgraced socialite received the sentence today (June 28) in the Manhattan Federal Court, and also received a $750,000 (£615,000) fine. Standing up in court, Maxwell addressed the victims of her crimes in a stunning statement.
"I empathise with all the victims in this case," Maxwell began.
"I realise I have been convicted of assisting Jeffrey Epstein to commit these crimes. My association with Epstein with permanently stain me.
"It is the biggest regret of my life that I ever met him."
Maxwell went on: "I believe Jeffrey Epstein fooled all of those in his orbit. His victims considered him a mentor, friend, lover."
Finishing her statement, she said: "Jeffrey Epstein should have stood before you. In 2005. In 2009. And again in 2019.
"But today it is for me to be sentenced."
Victims Sarah Ransome, Elizabeth Stein, Annie Farmer and the accuser known as 'Kate' were all in the courtroom and gave speeches before Maxwell's sentencing, which was handed down by Judge Alison Nathan.
Ransome's victim impact statement said she 'was nothing more than a sex toy with a heartbeat and soul used to entertain Epstein, Maxwell and others' during the abuse she suffered. Meanwhile 'Kate', who is British, said today was the first day she was not afraid.
She added: "Ghislaine's lack of remorse and blatant refusal to take responsibility for her crimes towards us is her final insult."
The 60-year-old could have been sentenced to up to 65 years in prison, having been convicted in December 2021 on five counts including conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts; conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and sex trafficking of minors.
Her lawyers meanwhile had hoped to keep the sentencing to below 20 years, arguing that Epstein was the mastermind behind the crimes and not Maxwell herself - something alluded to in her final address to the victims and court before her eventual sentencing.
Prosecutors meanwhile wanted her to be sentenced to between 30 and 55 years.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact The Survivor’s Trust for free on 08088 010 818, or through their website thesurvivorstrust.org
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock
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