Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for her role played in a years-long scheme of grooming and sexually abusing underage girls with her former partner Jeffrey Epstein.
Late last year Maxwell was convicted on five counts, including sex trafficking of a minor.
On Tuesday, June 28, she was handed a 20-year sentence after U.S prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence Maxwell to 30 to 55 years in prison, while the probation department recommended 20 years.
Maxwell’s attorneys requested a more lenient sentence of between 4.25 and 5.25 years in prison.
According to CNN, Judge Alison Nathan “calculated that the sentencing guidelines called for about 15½ to 19½ years in prison.”
However, she delivered a sentence slightly above her prescribed range, noting the victims’ disturbing testimony and Maxwell’s “direct and repeated participation in a horrific scheme.”
“Miss Maxwell is not punished in place of Epstein,” Judge Nathan stated. “Miss Maxwell is being punished for the role that she played,” she added.
60-year-old Maxwell did not testify in her defense during the trial late last year, however, on Tuesday she spoke in court to the victims shortly before the sentence was handed down.
She said, “Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you…It is not about Epstein, ultimately. It is for me to be sentenced.”
“I am sorry for the pain that you’ve experienced…I hope my conviction … brings you closure,” Maxwell added.
During her trial, prosecutors argued that both Maxwell and Epstein conspired to set up a scheme to lure young girls into sexual relationships with Epstein from 1994 to 2004 in New York, Florida, New Mexico and the US Virgin Islands.