Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking minors

The charges came from her role procuring and grooming girls for longtime partner Jeffrey Epstein.

effrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Serie...
Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Ghislaine Maxwell, British socialite and former accomplice to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in organizing and operating a sex trafficking ring. At 60 years old, the sentence means she will spend most of the rest of her life behind bars.

Last year, Maxwell was found guilty on five out of six charges brought against her by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, including conspiracy and sex trafficking of a child. During the trial, several women of the women who were victims of the sex trafficking operation spoke out about their experiences, detailing how Maxwell recruited them, behaved like a mentor and sister to them, and ultimately groomed them for Epstein. Their harrowing accounts played a significant role in convicting Maxwell, who had escaped prosecution for years.

While Maxwell held that Epstein was the “mastermind” and “principle abuser,” prosecutors and victims described the two as “partners in crime.” Maxwell was compensated significantly for her role in what prosecutors described as a “pyramid scheme of abuse.” Epstein transferred nearly $23 million to her between 1994 and 2004. He died in jail in 2019 while awaiting sentencing.

Maxwell faced a maximum prison sentence of 65 years in prison for her crimes. The U.S. Probation Department recommended a 20-year sentence for Maxwell, while Maxwell’s defense asked for 4-5 years. In announcing her decision, Judge Alison Nathan said the sentence was “sufficient and no graver than necessary.”