Ghislaine Maxwell faces constant surveillance in her new prison due to safety concerns after she was sentenced to 20 years behind bars yesterday.
But as a high-profile sex offender, the British socialite could be a likely target in the prison known as ‘Club Fed’ for its cushy programs for inmates, including a ‘wide variety of hobby craft and music’ as well as circuit training, aerobics and over 50 fitness classes.
Maxwell’s legal team claimed a fellow prisoner was previously offered money to strangle her in her sleep in Brooklyn and there were also fears she could be shot dead by a sniper.
On top of the potential violence from other inmates, she was also placed on suicide watch out of concerns she would follow her former lover Jeffrey Epstein in killing herself in prison.
Sarah Krissoff, a white collar crime partner at Day Pitney, told the MailOnline: ‘There is no doubt that Maxwell dealt with challenging conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center, particularly in light of the fact that she was imprisoned during Covid.
‘Now that she is sentenced, she will be transferred to a facility for sentenced inmates.
Ghislaine Maxwell faces constant surveillance in her new prison due to safety concerns after she was sentenced to 20 years behind bars yesterday
Maxwell’s legal team claimed a fellow prisoner was previously offered money to strangle her in her sleep in Brooklyn
The convicted sex trafficker, 60, is likely to serve her sentence at the Danbury, Connecticut, federal prison that inspired Orange Is The New Black
Danbury Federal Correctional Institution, which opened in August 1940, has held previous inmates including singer Lauryn Hill, reality TV star Teresa Giudice, and is thought to be the inspiration for the Netflix show ‘Orange is the New Black’
‘Those facilities are much better equipped to handle inmates who are incarcerated for long periods of time and offer a wider array of services, such as educational and recreational programming and more extensive medical and mental health services.
‘The Bureau of Prisons generally designates defendants who are convicted of sex-relates crimes, or crimes against children, to a few facilities that are experienced in handling those types of inmates, so I expect they will be able to handle the safety concerns.’
The lawyer added: ‘Maxwell’s lawyers have repeatedly indicated that she is not a suicide risk, and it generally isn’t feasible to have someone on suicide watch for an extended period of time.’
Maxwell reported that jail staff in Brooklyn had threatened her safety, prompting employees to place her on suicide watch, prosecutors had said.
In court filings on Saturday before her sentencing, Maxwell’s lawyers said she was placed on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) and asked for a delay to her sentencing.
On Sunday, prosecutors argued no delay was needed because Maxwell had her legal documents and could get the same amount of sleep.
They said Maxwell was transferred after reporting threats to her safety by MDC staff to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ inspector general.
There are fears for her safety following Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide in his cell in 2019, after Maxwell was placed under suicide watch in her Brooklyn jail
Aerial photos show the prison, which boasts a running track, a baseball pitch and a well-manicured lawn with trees and pathways
Maxwell ‘will apply to transfer to a UK prison after serving three years to be near her family’
Maxwell will apply to be transferred to a British prison after serving three years of her sentence, a source has claimed.
Under US law, she has to spent the first three years in the States but can then apply to move closer to her family.
A source told the Telegraph that Maxwell, who has British, French and US citizenship, will make the formal application to serve the majority of her 20-year sentence in the UK.
She has already been held in detention for two years which a judge may consider as time already served.
The convicted trafficker is expected to appeal her conviction.
Maxwell refused to elaborate about why she feared for her safety, prosecutors said. She told psychology staff she was not suicidal.
On Saturday, Bobbi Sternheim, who represents Maxwell, submitted a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathon, stating that she had been placed on suicide watch.
Sternheim claimed this was done ‘without having conducted a psychological evaluation and without justification,’ with Maxwell allegedly wearing a ‘suicided smock,’ a large piece of fabric that can’t be used to fashion a noose, and placed in solitary confinement.
Sternheim argued Maxwell’s sentencing needed to be postponed while she remains on suicide watch, even if the lawyer claimed she ‘is not suicidal.’
Sternheim condemned the treatment of her client, who she said was not event permitted to hold a pen or paper inside solitary confinement.
‘If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournment,’ Sternheim wrote.
Maxwell was convicted on December 29 on five criminal counts, including sex trafficking, for recruiting and grooming four girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
A former federal prosecutor said Maxwell is unlikely to ever divulge what she knows about Epstein’s trafficking scheme.
Maxwell has long been accused of knowing sordid details about Epstein and his potential co-conspirators, but has showed no signs of cooperating with federal investigators.
Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor who is now a litigator in Los Angeles, believes that Maxwell’s actions and decisions to date suggest that she will never cooperate against Epstein’s potential co-conspirators.
‘She’s dug in her heels — she pushed this case to trial, she made all these women testify, and revictimized them by making them repeat their stories in court,’ Rhamani told DailyMail.com in an interview shortly after the sentencing.
‘If you wanted the full benefit of cooperation, you wouldn’t do any of this,’ he added. ‘I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe that anyone else is going to be prosecuted in this case.’
Epstein, who died behind bars in 2019 in what was ruled a suicide, sexually abused children hundreds of times over more than a decade, exploiting vulnerable girls as young as 14, prosecutors say.
Following her sentencing on Tuesday, Sternheim vowed to appeal, saying that Epstein had left Maxwell ‘holding the whole bag.’
Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, believes Maxwell is unlikely to ever divulge what she knows about Epstein’s crimes
Rahmani, who is not connected to the case but spoke as a legal expert, observed that Maxwell’s plan to appeal makes it extremely unlikely that she will cooperate with investigators.
‘The problem with cooperation is you’re essentially waiving your right to appeal,’ he said.
‘You have to admit to participating in the trafficking and abuse of these young girls for the cooperation to mean anything,’ he added. ‘She’s much more likely to take her chances on appeal.’
Rahmani noted that it is possible for offenders to give evidence against co-conspirators after their sentencing, in exchange for a shot at a reduced sentence — but it is extremely rare.
‘It’s not too late, although people who cooperate usually plead guilty. Or once they are convicted and see the writing on the wall, then they cooperate,’ he said.
Rahmani said that Maxwell’s statement at sentencing — in which she blamed Epstein and cast herself as another victim — signaled that she is unlikely to provide evidence to investigators.
Ghislaine Maxwell defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim talks to the media outside the US District Court for the Southern District of New York after the sentencing
Maxwell told the court at the sentencing that she empathized with the victims in the case, but refused to admit her guilt and laid blame for the abuse on Epstein, saying meeting him was the ‘greatest regret of my life.’
‘Her non-apology apology today leads me to believe she is not going to cooperate,’ Rahmani said. ‘Those aren’t statements from someone who is accepting responsibility, who is remorseful, and is going to help the government bring other people to justice.’
‘Anything is possible, but Maxwell seems like a total narcissist,’ he added. ‘She really does believe she’s a victim, and she’s suffered this grave injustice.’
Maxwell’s trial revolved around allegations from only a handful of Epstein’s accusers.
Four testified that they were abused as teens in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein’s mansions in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands.
Fellow victims listen tearfully as Sarah Ransome reads a victim impact statement ahead of Maxwell’s sentencing
GHISLAINE’S STATEMENT AT SENTENCING HEARING IN FULL
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, both in its scale and extent.
I acknowledge their suffering and empathize deeply with all of the victims in this case.
I also 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 association with Epstein will permanently stain me.
It is the biggest regret of my life that I ever met him.
I believe Jeffrey Epstein fooled all of those in his orbit. His victims considered him a mentor, friend, 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. And today, those who even knew him briefly or never met him but were associated with someone who did, have lost relationships, jobs, and had their lives derailed.
Jeffrey Epstein should have stood before you. In 2005. In 2009. And again in 2019. All the many times he was accused, charged, prosecuted.
He should have spared victims the years of chasing justice.
But today is ultimately not about Epstein. It is for me to be sentenced and for the victims to address me alone in court.
To you I say: I am sorry for the pain you experienced.
I hope my conviction along with my harsh incarceration brings you closure.
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.
I also acknowledge the pain this case has wrought to those I love, the many I held and still hold close, the relationships I have lost and will never be able to regain.
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.
And to those of you who spoke here today and those who did not, may this day help you travel through darkness into the light.
Three were identified in court only by their first names or pseudonyms to protect their privacy: Jane, a television actress; Kate, an ex-model from the UK; and Carolyn, now a mom recovering from drug addiction.
The fourth was Annie Farmer, the sole accuser to identify herself in court by her real name, after speaking out publicly.
Before Tuesday’s sentencing Maxwell, appearing in a blue prison uniform with shackles around her ankles, addressed the court and said she was ‘fooled’ by Epstein.
‘I realize I have been convicted of assisting Jeffrey Epstein to commit these crimes,’ she said. ‘My association 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.’
Prosecutors had asked Judge Nathan to impose a sentence of at least 30 years because of Maxwell’s ‘utter lack of remorse,’ while Maxwell argued she should serve just four years as she is not a danger to the public.
The sentencing marks the end of a decades-long fight for justice by victims of Maxwell and Epstein.
BRAVE VICTIMS OF GHISLAINE MAXWELL AND JEFFREY EPSTEIN WHO SPOKE OUT ABOUT ABUSE
With enormous courage, two British victims of Ghislaine Maxwell attended court to speak in harrowing detail about their horrific ordeals at the hands of the child sex predator – and the mental torment they still suffer.
A British woman who testified under the name ‘Kate’, and Sarah Ransome – who was not included in the indictment at Maxwell’s trial late last year – penned victim impact statements which spelt out in graphic detail how their lives had been destroyed by the fallen socialite.
They made a point of turning up at the courthouse in New York and reading out extracts of their impact statements in person before the judge jailed Maxwell for 20 years for recruiting girls for herself and her former boyfriend, the pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, to molest.
The British victims were among four Maxwell survivors who wanted to come face-to-face with the Oxford-educated sex trafficker and tell the world how her crimes had affected them.
Ransome even provided the court with shocking images of her in hospital following a failed suicide attempt, after she struggled to come to terms with the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Maxwell. An impact statement from Prince Andrew’s teen accuser Virginia Roberts, now known by her married name Giuffre and who was unable to attend court due to a ‘medical issue’, was read out by her lawyer.
Miss Ransome, 37, whose father is Scottish Lord Macpherson, said she was raped up to three times a day during months imprisoned on Epstein’s private Caribbean island, having been tricked by Maxwell into his sordid web of abuse. She said in her impact statement: ‘I became nothing more than a human sex toy with a heartbeat and soul for the entertainment of Epstein, Maxwell and others. On one visit to [Epstein’s private 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.
‘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.’
‘I have never married and do not have children, something I always wished for, even as a little girl.
‘I have attempted suicide twice since the abuse – both near fatal.’
Preyed on by Maxwell after moving to New York aged 18 in 1991, with the ambition of working in the fashion industry, Miss Stein said she was first abused by the British socialite and Epstein at a hotel – on the very first day she met Ghislaine.
‘That night in the hotel was the first of many times they sexually assaulted me,’ she said. ‘Afterwards, I tried to pretend everything was normal…’ Miss Stein said she was ‘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 had to have an abortion after getting pregnant by one of the ‘countless’ men who raped her while she was being trafficked to their friends. ‘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.
‘In the most literal sense of the word, Epstein and Maxwell terrified me. 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.’
The fourth and final accuser in Maxwell’s trial told jurors how the privately-educated predator gave her a nude massage and groped her as a teen at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch.
‘One of the most painful and ongoing impacts of Maxwell and Epstein’s abuse was a loss of trust in myself, my perceptions, and my instincts,’ she said.
‘When predators groom and then abuse or exploit children and other vulnerable people, they are, in a sense, training them to distrust themselves. When a boundary is crossed or an expectation violated, you tell yourself, ‘Someone who cares enough about me to do all these nice things surely wouldn’t also be trying to harm me.
‘This pattern of thinking is insidious, so these seeds of self-doubt took root even as I learned my sister [Maria] had also been harmed by them, and came to find out years later that many others had been exploited.
‘For years these memories triggered significant self-recrimination, minimization and guilt.
‘I blamed myself for believing these predators actually wanted to help me. I felt tremendous survivor guilt when I heard what other girls and young women had experienced at the hands of Maxwell and Epstein.
‘I remember sitting at my desk physically shaking after seeing the photo of Maxwell with Virginia [Roberts] and Prince Andrew, because it became clear to me how their scheme had continued.
‘Maxwell had many opportunities to come clean, but instead continued to make choices that caused more harm. When my sister and I first spoke out to the media about what happened to us, Maxwell lied about us and threatened Maria, thus helping shut down investigations into Epstein’s behaviour so they could together continue to harm children and young women.’
Prince Andrew’s teen sex accuser, Miss Roberts – now based in Australia – is the most famous Epstein victim of them all. Although she did not give evidence at Maxwell’s trial, the jury found Miss Roberts was one of her sex trafficking victims. In her impact statement, the American vowed to Maxwell: ‘If you ever get out of prison, I will be here, watching you, making sure you never hurt anyone else again.’
She also told her: ‘Without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible paedophile. But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you.
‘For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell.
‘And then, Ghislaine, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you used your femininity to betray us, and you led us all through it. You could have put an end to the rapes, the molestations, the sickening manipulations that you arranged, witnessed and even took part in.
‘Ghislaine, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell. You deserve to be trapped in a cage forever, just like you trapped your victims.’
When British victim ‘Kate’ was a lonely teenager in 1994, Maxwell dressed her as a schoolgirl for sex with Epstein and branded her a ‘good girl’.
She said: ‘The many acts that were perpetrated on me by Epstein including rape, strangulation and sexual assault would have never occurred had it not been for the cunning and premeditated role Ghislaine Maxwell played. What happened to me at that young age changed the course of my life drastically, forever.
‘I witnessed on numerous occasions, over many years, Ghislaine Maxwell trying to recruit other girls and making consistent and insistent demands on me and others to do the same.
‘There was never any ambiguity or doubt about her having full knowledge of what was to take place once she recruited girls.’ In the years following the abuse, she struggled with drug addiction, panic attacks and night terrors, and she told of feeling ‘unable to trust my own instincts in choosing romantic relationships’.
Kate said testifying in the trial had been ‘both terrifying and re-traumatizing’ but added: ‘I do not, however, regret it for one moment.’