Ghislaine Maxwell’s fate was sealed on Tuesday when she was sentenced to 20 years behind bars after being convicted on multiple counts of sex trafficking months prior.
Maxwell, the former romantic partner of the late Jeffrey Epstein, was convicted in December of assisting Epstein in luring and sexually abusing teenage girls, as previously reported.
According to The Epoch Times, the famous British socialite was found guilty of five counts of sex trafficking, including one count of trafficking a minor.
Maxwell’s attorneys sought to lower her sentence to no more than five years by arguing that Epstein was the “mastermind” of the operation, according to Fox 61. However, U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan handed down a 20-year sentence, Reuters reported.
According to the Associated Press, Nathan also imposed a $750,000 fine, saying she wanted to send an “unmistakable message” that this type of criminal behavior would be punished.
Before Maxwell’s sentencing, the court heard statements on behalf of the victims, including one from Virginia Giuffre directed at Maxwell.
“You deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell,” the statement said. “You deserve to be trapped in a cage.”
Maxwell also addressed the court before the judge’s sentencing, attempting to shift blame to Epstein and apologize to her many victims.
“I believe that Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life and filled all of those in his orbit,” Maxwell said. “It is the greatest regret of my life that I met Jeffrey Epstein.”
To the victims, she said, “I am sorry for the pain that you’ve experienced.”