Ghislaine Maxwell has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The sentence is well in excess of what her attorneys demanded.

Judge Alison J. Nathan has given her verdict in the case of Ghislaine Maxwell (60), who has been imprisoned for two years. The accomplice of the dead sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (1953-2019) has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for her crimes. “A sentence of 240 months is sufficient and no stricter than necessary,” quoted the New York Times of their verdict. The judge also imposed a fine of $750,000, the maximum fine according to the report.

She justified the sentence with the words: “The punishment that I pronounce must reflect the seriousness of Ms. Maxwell’s actions.” Nathan had previously described said actions as “abominable and predatory”. Maxwell “worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable”.

Nathan reiterated, “It is important to emphasize that while Epstein was the central figure in this criminal activity, Ms. Maxwell is not being prosecuted in Epstein’s stead or as a placeholder for Epstein.” Maxwell’s criminal defense lawyers have repeatedly accused the public prosecutor’s office of pillorying them as a scapegoat for Epstein’s actions because he can no longer be held accountable.

Well below the maximum penalty

Maxwell’s attorneys had asked for a maximum sentence of four to five years in prison. The public prosecutor’s office demanded 30 to 55 years, which would have been the maximum sentence. Nathan’s judgment can therefore be understood as a compromise between both demands. Having been in prison since 2020 on fugitive charges, Maxwell can hope to be released in her late 70s. If the prosecution had demanded it would have been highly likely that she would have spent the rest of her life behind bars.

Maxwell was found guilty on five out of six counts in December last year. Prosecutors accused Maxwell of procuring underage victims for Epstein’s sex ring as his right-hand man. The British rejected the allegations and refrained from making a statement at the time.