Ghislaine Maxwell Sentenced to 20 Years for Sex Trafficking Young Girls
Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for helping Jeffrey Epstein traffic and sexually abuse countless young girls, in a conspiracy that dates back to at least 1994.
Maxwell, 60, was found guilty in December last year for her role in Epstein’s now-infamous sex trafficking ring. Her acts, which were as numerous as they were heinous, revolved around trafficking minors and enticing them to engage in illegal sexual acts, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.
At her peak, she was a renowned socialite who posed for the cameras with U.S. presidents and British royalty. But beneath the smiles and the pleasantries lay a darkness few can gaze into without flinching.
From at least 1994 until roughly 2004, Maxwell walked a path even the damned fear to tread as she sought out girls as young as 14 and lured them into a nightmarish world of sexual thralldom.
With her reputation and social influence, she befriended her victims and provided various services for them, such as taking them on shopping trips or having Epstein pay for their education and travel.
The next step in the grooming process was to openly discuss sexual topics with the girls, expose herself to them, have them undress in front of her, and encourage them to perform massages for Epstein.
Above all, a predator must be a patient creature, else the indoctrination will not take hold and the victim will flee. But Maxwell’s patience paid off and the girls became susceptible to further sexual abuse.
At first, they were subjected to perform sexually charged massages; but as time passed, the atrocities began to escalate.
Her now-groomed victims were violated by having their bare bodies touched. Sex toys such as vibrators were placed on their genitals. And in some cases, they were ordered to touch Epstein’s genitals as he masturbated.
Maxwell was sometimes present as these abuses took place and even took part in them herself, the DOJ said.
Epstein also reportedly had a clientele list of other wealthy and powerful members of society to whom he would prostitute the young girls.
With her hold over her victims now secure, Maxwell then directed them to recruit additional girls into Epstein’s web. Essentially, the two had created an ever-expanding network of underage girls who would be forever scarred by abuse and subjugation.
For Epstein, his atrocities originally came to light in 2008. But through his wealth and influence, he managed to bury the story and his lawyers negotiated a plea deal that amounted to an incarceration period of less than 13 months; during which time, he was even allowed to intermittently leave prison for work and other appointments in New York and Palm Beach.
His victims and their families were kept out of the loop and for several more years justice would be denied to them.
It wasn’t until July 2019 when Epstein was arrested again on sex trafficking charges; only this time, the horrific saga was fully exposed by the press.
Before his trial could commence, however, Epstein was found dead in his cell on August 10.
Though his death was ruled as a suicide by hanging, suspicions persist to this day that he was in fact murdered so that he could not expose his sex trafficking ring’s clientele to the public.
Around the time of Epstein’s arrest, Maxwell went off the grid and authorities were unable to locate her.
She was eventually arrested in July 2020 in Bradford, New Hampshire by the FBI, who used an IMSI-catcher to mimic a cell phone tower and discover her location.
Her subsequent trial, which lasted three weeks, found her guilty of child sex trafficking. During the proceedings, her legal team attempted to portray her as a scapegoat for Epstein, whom they painted as the sole mastermind behind the plot.
Several of Maxwell’s victims, however, came forward to speak of the harrowing acts they endured under her influence as well as the long-term repercussions, which included hospitalizations and mental breakdowns.
“The road to justice has been far too long,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “I want to commend the bravery of the girls – now grown women – who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom. Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today’s result, possible.”