Annie Farmer, 43, said that the case showed it was ‘never too late for accountability’ and the sentencing was a ‘big victory’ for victims of sexual abuse.
Farmer, however, took issue with Maxwell’s statement following the sentencing, where the British socialite described herself as a fellow ‘victim’ of Epstein and his sex trafficking ring of young girls that she helped contribute to.
‘Her statement felt like a very hollow apology to me,’ Farmer told reporters. ‘She did not take responsibility for her crimes that she committed, and it felt like once more than she was trying to do something that benefitted her and not at all about the harm that she caused.’
Annie Farmer, 43, said she was happy over the sentencing but slammed Ghislaine Maxwell’s apology in court as being ‘very hollow’
Fellow victims Elizabeth Stein (left) and Sarah Ransome (right) also criticized Maxwell and called out anyone who ever aided Epstein
Maxwell (left) was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding Jeffery Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. She claimed that she, too, was a victim of the late pedophile
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 acknowledge 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.
‘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.’
Epstein ‘fooled all of those in his orbit,’ she said.
‘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.’
‘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.’
Speaking after the sentence, Sigrid McCawley, Farmer’s lawyer who represents several other Epstein and Maxwell victims, agreed that Maxwell’s statement ‘was not an apology.’
McCawley said, ‘She once again did not take responsibility for her crimes, so that was disappointing,’ but noted that Farmer and the other victims were happy with the sentencing.
Farmer said that she hopes the trial can help empower other victims of sexual abuse to come forward and seek their own justice.
‘It felt very powerful to finally have a chance to speak and have my voice on the record and say how her crimes impacted people and myself,’ Farmer said.
‘Maxwell and Epstein were predators that were able to use that power and privilege to harm countless individuals and for far too long, the institutions that were supposed to be helping the public, were instead helping them.’
Brad Edwards, a lawyer who has fought cases against Epstein for more than a decade, said that Maxwell and Epstein’s famous friends should finally come forward.
Asked if that included Bill Clinton, he said: ‘There’s a lot of people who have a lot of information, they know things, the time is now and if they’re continuing to not speak they’re hurting victims, they’re not helping.
‘There are a lot of people who have a lot of power and prestige and hide behind that and don’t come forward like normal good human beings. They are people that are cowards and I wish they would come forward and maybe [Bill Clinton’ that’s one of them.’
Edwards said that Maxwell’s statement was ‘probably the closest thing she’s come to acknowledgement in her life.’
‘But it was passive acknowledgement, she acknowledged somebody else’s pain but not that she caused it and obviously she was the perpetrator of the crime. To think she’s being charged for something Jeffrey Epstein did is arrogant in and of itself.
‘She was charged for the crimes she did.’
Sarah Ransome, one of Maxwell’s victims who spoke in court, also took aim at Epstein and Maxwell’s powerful friends and enablers too.
Speaking outside court accompanied by fellow victim Elizabeth Stein, Ransome said: ‘For the men that were involved in our sexual trafficking, the employees, the friends, the wealthy friends – you are the reason, you are as bad as Ghislaine’.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, the prosecutor who had sought a 30 year minimum sentence for Maxwell, echoed that the trial’s conclusion would encourage other victims to come forward.
‘Today’s sentence holds Ghislaine Maxwell accountable for perpetrating heinous crimes against children,’ Williams said. ‘This sentence sends a strong message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice.
‘We again express our gratitude to Epstein and Maxwell’s victims for their courage in coming forward, in testifying at trial, and in sharing their stories as part of today’s sentencing.’
Maxwell’s attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, told reporters that Maxwell plans on appealing the ruling, claiming the long-time Epstein associate has been vilified to the point where she could not receive a fair trial.
‘Our client Ghislaine Maxwell has been vilified, pilloried and left little room for her to be treated fairly,’ Sternheim said.
‘Even before she stropped forward into this courthouse, she was being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion,’ she added. ‘Ghislaine will appeal this case and we’re confident she will prevail on appeal.’
Maxwell’s family said they would be sticking by her through the appeals process.
Pictured: A court sketch of Maxwell at her sentencing hearing on June 28, where she apologized for her role in helping Epstein
Maxwell’s attorney, Bobbi Sternheim (right), told reporters she will file an appeal because Maxwell allegedly did not receive a fair trial because she was vilified
Kevin (left) and Isabel Maxwell said they were sticking by their sister following the sentencing
During the sentencing hearing, Stein and Ransome delivered their victim impact statement, detailing the grueling abuse they suffered at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell, and the trauma that haunted them for more than a decade.
Ransome said she was only 22 years old when she arrived in New York with hopes of attending the Fashion Institute of Technology.
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.’
Ransome, left, delivered additional criticism against all those who helped Epstein, as well as the media for allegedly overlooking her claims in 2016
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
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.’
Ransome added that 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 was only 22 when she was taken into Epstein’s sex trafficking sing
Following her 2018 suicide attempt, had pins in her feet (above) to straighten them following the traumatic injury. Ransome said the second attempt came as her trauma resurfaced during her trial against Maxwell in 2018
Stein spoke out about the horrifying ‘trauma’ she suffered at the hands of late billionaire Epstein and Maxwell.
In her statement, Stein recalled being ‘assaulted, raped and trafficked countless times’ during a three-year period after Epstein – who died in prison in 2019 – and Maxwell lured her into their sex trafficking ring by ‘seizing upon her vulnerability’.
She eventually got pregnant at the hands of one of the men and chose to abort the baby. Stein still remains ‘unsure’ who got her pregnant.
‘I was assaulted, raped and trafficked countless times in New York and Florida during a three year period,’ Stein’s statement – seen by DailyMail.com – reads.
‘At one point I became pregnant (by whom I am unsure) and aborted the baby. Things happened that were so traumatizing that to this day I’m unable to speak about them; I don’t even have the vocabulary to describe them.’
Stein recalled her years-long attempts to escape Maxwell and Epstein, having first been lured into their horrifying world when she was a senior at FIT in New York City and working as a sales associate at Henri Bendel.
It was there that she first met the socialite, who introduced her to Epstein at the Pierre Hotel the very same day they met.
‘That night in the hotel was the first of many times they sexually assaulted me,’ she revealed.
According to Stein, when she graduated from college, she desperately tried to ‘leave Epstein and Maxwell and the abuse they perpetrated against me behind as I started my professional life’ with a job at Bloomingdales.
Stein, right, recalled being ‘assaulted, raped and trafficked countless times’ during a three-year period after Epstein lured her in
Four women gave evidence against Maxwell during her trial: a victim known as ‘Jane’ (left) , Annie Farmer, Kate and another woman called Carolyn (right)
Ghislaine is seen kissing Jeffrey on the cheek during a trip to Saint Tropez in France. Many have testified that they believed Epstein and Ghislaine were boyfriend and girlfriend as they operated their sex trafficking ring
The pair are seen sitting in the grass with a dog in this undated photo submitted into evidence by the government
However, she says that Maxwell ultimately tracked her down in the department store in the fall of 1995, recalling how the socialite ‘immediately began befriending me once again’.
‘She immediately began befriending me once again, asking me to go out socially,’ Stein recounted.
‘I tried to resist but eventually she wore me down and I began spending time with them again. They made me feel like they were friends, contemporaries.’
It was then that the pair whisked her away to Florida – and ‘insisted that she stay longer than planned’ which resulted in her being fired from her job at Bloomingdales.
‘Seizing on this new vulnerability, they began trafficking me to their friends. By that time, I was trapped,’ she shared, explaining that Maxwell and Epstein threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone what had happened to her.
‘In the most literal sense of the word, Epstein and Maxwell terrified me,’ she said. ‘They told me that if I told anyone, nobody would believe me and if they did, they would kill me and the people closest to me.
‘After meeting Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, it felt like someone shut off the lights to my soul.’
SARAH RANSOME’S FULL VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
It has been a long journey to bring Maxwell to justice.
Sadly, the accurate count of victims will never be known.
My book, Silenced No More, chronicles it as a ‘journey to hell and back’.
Although I have escaped the hellish trap set by Epstein, Maxwell and others, I continue, now 17 years later, to suffer from the horrific trauma it caused.
I came to New York at age 22, wanting to start my life over after an incredibly abusive relationship.
I hoped to attend FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and work in the fashion industry.
Soon after arriving, I met an Epstein/Maxwell recruiter named Natalya Malyshev in a club.
She befriended me and, soon after that, arranged for me to meet Jeffery.
She described him as a kind philanthropist who could help me get into FIT and provide much-needed support, something which was alien to me.
Over the next seven to eight months, I became, against my will, nothing more than a human sex toy with a heartbeat and soul for the entertainment of Epstein, Maxwell and others.
Sometimes I was subjected to sexual predation multiple times per day, both in his New York mansion and on his private island, St Little James in the US Virgin Islands.
On one visit to the island, the sexual demands, degradation and humiliation became so horrific that I tried to escape by attempting to jump off a cliff into shark-infested waters, but was caught by Maxwell and company moments before jumping.
At the time, the extremely risky escape seemed more appealing than being raped one more time.
As the evidence at the trial of Ms. Maxwell proved, and my own experience confirms, Maxwell was Epstein’s right-hand woman.
She was the manager of several recruiters and many others who provided the means and cover for Epstein’s predation.
In several instances, Ghislaine by her own hand forced me into Epstein’s room to be raped.
Epstein and Maxwell were masters at finding young, vulnerable girls and young women to exploit.
Upon targeting a vulnerable girl/young woman, they would ingratiate themselves to her, giving her compliments and small gifts, telling her how special she was.
They would tell her that Epstein was a very wealthy, generous man whose primary purpose was to help the less fortunate.
He and Maxwell were sophisticated, worldly adults with deep ties to important people, world leaders and institutions who could give her the lifeline she needed to make her dreams reality.
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.
The manipulation, intimidation, and emotional abuse used to control the victims took many forms.
In my case, Epstein and Maxwell used my damaged upbringing, naivety, lack of a long-term visa, lack of education and my desire to go to FIT to manipulate and ensnare me.
Once ensnared, to pacify and keep me they told me that I was exceptionally intelligent and that I had real potential to be someone and something in life, that my dreams of making my family one day proud of me were achievable and that Epstein and Maxwell’s strong ties to FIT could make this happen.
With their help, my admission was almost assured.
‘But’. There was always a ‘but’.
First, I had to write my application, which I did, but Maxwell had to review it and conveniently always found fault.
Then another ‘but’ – I needed to lose 30 pounds because I was a ‘piglet’ (Maxwell’s numerous degrading descriptions of me).
Epstein and Maxwell put me on a strict Atkin’s diet while simultaneously sending me to a psychiatrist who prescribed anti-depressants – among other drugs I did not need – that caused weight gain.
It was a classic no-win situation and they knew it – precisely what human traffickers seek.
I never lost the weight, my application was never good enough, and it never got submitted.
I thank almighty God that, in 2007, I managed to escape the horror by fleeing for my life to the UK.
Since then, I have been coping with the daily all-consuming fear 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.
I frequently experience flashbacks and wake up in a cold sweat from nightmares reliving the awful experience.
I am hyper vigilant, experience dramatic mood changes and avoid certain places, situations and people. I will sometimes start crying uncontrollably and without apparent reason.
I have worked hard with several mental health professionals who have diagnosed me with extreme symptoms of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, PTSD, and tendencies to self-harm.
Despite my earnest effort, I have not realized my God-given potential professionally or entered healthy personal relationships.
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 (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings but I have had numerous relapses and know that only by the grace of God do I continue to live.
I have attempted suicide twice since the abuse – both near-fatal.
Last year, I travelled internationally to New York to attend Maxwell’s trial.
That was both therapeutic and traumatizing.
It was therapeutic to hear the testimony of the four brave victim-witnesses, whose experiences paralleled my own, to know that I was not alone and that our story was finally being told for the world to hear.
But it was also traumatizing to relive the experience and flashbacks and the nightmares have increased.
I am grateful that the jury believed the victims and returned a guilty verdict.
But a question still tears at my soul: after all of this, how can the manager of this enormous sex trafficking conspiracy involving so many co-conspirators that snared 100s if not 1,000s of vulnerable girls and young women over three decades continue to maintain her innocence?
Who and what institution enabled this sex trafficking ring to continue?
Why haven’t the institutions and important people that enabled them been exposed and brought to justice?
Reflecting on it, I know the answers to my questions.
Maxwell is today the same woman I met almost 20 years ago – incapable of compassion or common human decency.
Because of her wealth, social status and connections, she believes herself beyond reproach and above the law.
Sentencing her to the rest of her life in prison will not change her, but it will give other survivors and I a slight sense of justice and help us as we continue to work to recover from the sex-trafficking hell she perpetrated.
She will never, ever hurt another young woman or child in this lifetime.
For that, I am sure.
As for the important, high-profile enablers – governmental institutions, politicians, and very wealthy friends of Epstein/Maxwell here and abroad – so far their stature and power have protected them.
I hope that one day they will be exposed and we will be able to say that the United States truly is governed by the rule of law and not by powerful people.
To Ghislaine I say: ‘You broke me in unfathomable ways but what you didn’t break is my spirit, nor did you dampen my internal flame that now burns brighter than ever before.’
– Sarah Ransome, 2022