Ghislaine Maxwell has broken her silence at her sentencing for sex trafficking where she said she was a ‘victim of helping Jeffrey Epstein‘ and said the pedophile ‘fooled all of those in his orbit’ before being sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Addressing the court for the first time ahead of the judge handing down the sentence, Maxwell told the judge: ‘Your honor, it is hard for me to address the court after listening to the pain and anguish expressed today.
‘The terrible impact on the lives of so many women is difficult to hear and even more difficult to absorb in its scale and extent. I want to acknowledge their suffering. I empathize deeply with all of the victims in this case.
The judge who will hand down Ghislaine Maxwell’s sentence has determined the guidelines dictate she serve just 15.6 years to 19.5 years – not the expected 55-year maximum
In a big win for Maxwell’s defense, Judge Alison Nathan ruled to use sentencing guidelines from 2003 – the year Maxwell’s last offense took place. In 2004, sentencing guidelines were raised, which could have seen Maxwell facing a maximum of 55 years. But the judge ruled to now lower the maximum to 235 months – or 19.5 years
Ghislaine Maxwell will be sentenced today after being convicted of sex trafficking in December. The sentencing will mark the end of a decades-long fight for justice by victims of Maxwell and Epstein
‘I acknowledge with that I have been a victim of helping Jeffrey Epstein commit these crimes.’
‘I realize I have been convicted of assisting Jeffrey Epstein to commit these crimes. My associate with Epstein will permanently stain me. It is the biggest regret of my life that I ever met him.’
She added that Epstein ‘fooled all of those in his orbit.’
‘His victims considered him a mentor, friend, lover. Jeffrey Epstein should have stood before you. In 2005. In 2009. And again in 2019. But today it is for me to be sentenced.
‘His impact upon all those who were close to him has been devastating.’
Maxwell spoke after the judge who will hand down her sentence determined the guidelines dictate she serve just 15.6 years to 19.5 years – not the expected 55-year maximum.
Prosecutors had asked Judge Nathan to impose a sentence of at least 30 years because of Maxwell’s ‘utter lack of remorse.’ Maxwell claims she should serve just four years as she is not a danger to the public.
Assistant US attorney Alison More told the judge, ‘The 2003 guidelines were inadequate. Consider the sophistication of her predatory conduct. We ask the court to send a message no one is above the law.’
‘This is one of the rare cases for an above Guidelines sentence.’
Sarah Ransome, 38, (right) is pictured with fellow Jeffery Epstein victim Elizabeth Stein (left). Ransome recounted the horrors she experienced at the hands of Epstein that led her to trying to kill herself twice, in 2008 and 2018
Ransome shared photos of her in a hospital bed after her first attempt to kill herself in 2008
Ransome is pictured with casts in both legs following her second suicide attempt in 2018
She once tried jumping off a cliff while at Epstein’s St. Little James private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
‘[I was] nothing more than a sex toy with a heartbeat and soul used to entertain Epstein, Maxwell and others,’ she wrote.
‘On one visit to the island, the sexual demands, degradation and humiliation ensued me to try to escape by jumping off a cliff into shark-infested waters.
‘I was caught by Maxwell and company moments before jumping. At the time, that extremely risky escape seemed more appealing than being raped one more time’.
Ransome said she was only 22 years old when she arrived in New York with hopes of attending the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Ransome was only 22 when she was taken into Epstein’s sex trafficking sing
She said she was targeted by an Epstein-Maxwell recruiter named Natalya Malyshev in a club, who arranged for her to meet the billionaire who allegedly promised to help provide financial support for her to attend her dream school.
‘Epstein and Maxwell were masters at finding young, vulnerable girls and young women to exploit’ Ransome said.
‘However, soon after lulling me and others into a false sense of comfort and security, they pounced, ensnaring us in their upside-down, twisted world of rape, rape and more rape.
‘Like Hotel California, you could check into the Epstein-Maxwell dungeon of sexual hell, but you could never leave. Ghislaine by her own hand, forced me into Epstein’s room to be raped.’
Although Ransome was able to escape for the UK in 2007, she said she began drinking heavily as she was constantly haunted by what happened to her, fearing that ‘someday Epstein and Maxwell would harm me, my loved ones and my family, as Epstein repeatedly told me would happen, if I ever dared to leave.’
The trauma suffocated Ransome to the point where she attempted to kill herself a year later as Epstein was facing trial, and then making another attempt at her own life in 2018, during her case against Maxwell and other Epstein associates.
‘Despite my earnest effort, I have not realized my God-given potential professionally or entered healthy personal relationships,’ Ransome said. ‘I have never married and do not have children, something I always wished for, even as a little girl.
‘I shy away from strangers and have difficulty making new friends because I fear they could be associated with Epstein, Maxwell and the enablers.
‘To this day, I attend AA meetings, but I have had numerous relapses and know that only by the grace of God do I continue to live,’ she added. ‘Maxwell is today the same woman I met almost 20 years ago – incapable of compassion or common human decency.’
GHISLAINE MAXWELL FULL STATEMENT AT SENTENCING FOR SEX TRAFFICKING
Ghislaine Maxwell told the court at sentencing: ‘Your honor, it is hard for me to address the court after listening to the pain and anguish expressed today
‘The terrible impact on the lives of so many women is difficult to hear and even more difficult to absorb in its scale and it extent. I want to ackonwledge their suffering. I empathize deeply with all of the victims in this case.
‘I acknowledge with that I have been a victim of helping Jeffrey Epstein commit these crimes.
Epstein ‘fooled all of those in his orbit,’ she said.
‘His impact upon all those who were close to him has been devastating.’
‘Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before you,’ she says.
‘He should have stood here in 2005, in 2009 and again in 2019.’
‘But today it is not for Jeffrey Epstein, it is for me to be sentenced.’
‘Victims considered him as a godfather, a mentor, a benefactor, a friend, a lover. It is absolutely unfathomable today to think that was how he was viewed contemporaneously. His impact on all those close to him has been devastating.
‘I’m sorry for the pain that you have experienced.
‘I hope this brings the women who have suffered some measure of peace and faintly to help you put those experiences of so many years ago in a place that allows you to look forward and not back.
‘It is my sincerest wish to all those in this courtroom and all those outside this courtroom that today brings a terrible chapter to an end.
‘May this day help you travel through darkness into the light.’