Former financier and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s sidekick has been found guilty of sex trafficking. Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in a US prison.
The 60-year-old socialite was convicted of recruiting and trafficking teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein who was her boyfriend at the time. The recruitment spanned over a decade.
Judge Alison J Nathan pronounced her sentence saying Maxwell’s conduct has been “heinous and predatory”.
“Ms Maxwell worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable and played a pivotal role in facilitating sexual abuse.”
She added that the case called for a “very significant sentence” and that she wanted to send an “unmistakable message” that such crimes would be punished.
Over and above the 20 years in prison, Maxwell also has to pay a fine of $750 000.
When Maxwell was given a chance to say something, she apologised to her victims. Many of them were poor underaged girls who trusted her when she approached them with the promise of money.
She called meeting Epstein “the biggest regret” of her life and said her “association with Epstein will permanently stain” her. She added that she hoped her prison sentence would allow the victims some “peace and finality”.
Epstein was awaiting his own sex trafficking jail when he committed suicide inside a Manhattan prison cell back in 2019.
Image credit: Sky News