British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years in prison for her role in grooming minor teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in a New York court in December on five charges that included sex trafficking a minor. Epstein committed suicide in his New York jail cell in 2019 as he was waiting for trial on separate sex trafficking charges.
U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan described Maxwell’s actions as “horrific” and causing “incalculable” damage to the victims. Some of the underage girls were as young as 14. Maxwell was charged with enticing, grooming, and transporting the victims for abuse by Epstein and others.
The 20-year sentence came on three of the convictions as Nathan agreed with the defense that two other charges were repetitive. She stressed that Maxwell was not being punished in the place of the deceased Epstein, but rather for her own crimes.
The trafficking went on for a decade, from 1994 through 2004, while Maxwell and Epstein were in a relationship.
She told the victims that she hoped her conviction would bring “closure,” but her accusers were not convinced. One victim, identified only as “Kate,” said Maxwell could have ended the abuse but instead was a “manipulative, cruel, and merciless person.”
Maxwell’s attorney told reporters outside the courthouse that her sentence was “extremely long” and that her client will appeal.
Of particular interest to many in the public but apparently not authorities is the remarkable list of rich and powerful who are known to have flown on Epstein’s plane and traveled to his mansions and private islands in the Caribbean.
The who’s who includes former U.S. presidents, British royalty, industrial titans, and convicted sex offender Bill Cosby. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk dryly noted earlier this month that he’s never seen a dragon, dinosaur, unicorn, or Epstein’s client list.
And even more remarkable, Musk observed, is that “no one in the media cares.”
Because unlike what the media wants people to believe, asking questions about something everyone knows exists is not being a “conspiracy theorist.” It’s commonly called “journalism.” Epstein is dead, and for crimes well known to be widespread, Maxwell is the only person doing time.