Virginia Giuffre Statement Read In Court Prior To Ghislaine Maxwell's 20-Year Sentence
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Virginia Giuffre's victim impact statement was read in court prior to Ghislaine Maxwell's sentencing today.
At Maxwell's trial six months ago, a jury found her guilty of luring in teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to molest, and the 60-year-old was convicted of sex trafficking minors, conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Now, Judge Alison Nathan has sentenced her to 20 years behind bars and handed down a fine of $750,000 (£615,000).
Her accusers came face to face with her as several women read victim impact statements to the court earlier today (28 June) – describing her as a 'manipulative, cruel and merciless person'.
Giuffre - who earlier this year reached an out of court settlement with Prince Andrew in her sexual assault lawsuit - did not appear in court but her lawyer read her victim impact statement in her absence.
In it, she said she was abused for more than two years by Maxwell - between the ages of 16 and 19 - and addressing her directly, she said: "Ghislaine, 22 years ago, in the summer of 2000, you spotted me at the Mar-a-Lago Hotel in Florida, and you made a choice. You chose to follow me and procure me for Jeffrey Epstein.
"Just hours later, you and he abused me together for the first time. Together, you damaged me physically, mentally, sexually, and emotionally.
"Together, you did unthinkable things that still have a corrosive impact on me to this day.
"I want to be clear about one thing: without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible paedophile. But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you. For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell."
She went on to label the pain caused by Maxwell as 'almost indescribable' and called for her to spend the rest of her life behind bars.
She said: "Ghislaine, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell. You deserve to be trapped in a cage forever, just like you trapped your victims."
Addressing her victims directly before sentencing, Maxwell said: "To you, all the victims that came to today inside the court and outside…I am sorry for the pain you have experienced.
"I hope my sentence…brings you closure…peace and finality. To help you put those experiences in a place that helps you move forward."
Maxwell, who was described as 'dangerous' by the prosecution during her three-week trial last year, helped entice vulnerable teenagers to Epstein’s various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Jurors heard that the socialite summoned a 14-year-old girl to an orgy, groped another victim, and laid a schoolgirl outfit out for a third accuser before a sexualised massage with Epstein, because she 'thought it would be fun'.
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
Topics: News, Crime, Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein