Ghislaine Maxwell has appealed her sex trafficking conviction and 20-year sentence for facilitating underage girls' abuse by disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The former socialite was convicted on five out of six charges in a Manhattan courtroom in December 2021. She was recently sentenced, and the 60-year-old got 20 years in prison.
Maxwell, who was once Jeffrey Epstein's girlfriend, was charged with sex trafficking of minors, finding that she had recruited and groomed four girls for abuse by Epstein between 1994 and 2004.
Judge Alison J. Nathan said the sentence is "sufficient and no graver than necessary." Additionally, Maxwell is ordered to pay a fine of $750,000, the maximum allowed by law.
Judge Alison J. Nathan told the court during sentencing:
"It is important to emphasize that although Epstein was central to this criminal scheme, Ms. Maxwell is not being punished in place of Epstein or as a proxy for Epstein."
After, the Judge called Maxwell's crimes "heinous and predatory."
Nathan added that Maxwell "directly and repeatedly and over the course of many years participated in a horrific scheme" to traffic and abuse underage girls. She said Maxwell "worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable" and was "pivotal" to facilitating abuse. Therefore, a "substantial sentence" is warranted.
The prosecution asked for 30 years of prison, though the level of crimes could have gotten Maxwell a sentence of 55 years.
Alison Moe, an assistant US attorney, said Maxwell was Epstein's "right hand," adding the two were "predators together."
Moe continued by stating that Maxwell has "shown absolutely no remorse for her crimes" and has "lied repeatedly" during the trial.
"Maxwell was an adult woman, and she made choices, week in, week out for years, to commit crimes with Jeffrey Epstein, to be his right hand, to make his crimes possible. Those choices were hers, and they have to have serious consequences."
"What's more, her actions betrayed a disturbing view of the world we live in. To Maxwell, there was two kinds of people in this world – the people who really matter and the people who were disposable."
Annie Farmer pointed out "the ongoing suffering of the many women she abused and exploited, as we will continue to live with the memories of the ways she harmed us." The victim also said:
"Maxwell's unwillingness to acknowledge her crimes, her lack of remorse, and her repeated lies about her victims."
She added that this behavior pushed the victims to "engage in a long fight for justice that has felt like a black hole sucking in our precious time, energy, and well-being for much too long now. Those things cannot be replaced."
Maxwell was allowed to address the court:
"Your honor, it is hard for me to address the court after listening to the pain and anguish expressed in the statements made here 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 in its extent."
She still did not show any responsibility or regret, saying:
"I believe that Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulative, cunning, and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life and fooled all of those in his orbit."
Maxwell's appeal did not come as a surprise. Her lawyers said that conviction of the British-born socialite was tainted because the evidence did not prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The attorneys added that prosecuting attorneys took too long to indict her, and one of the jurors failed to mention that he had been sexually abused as a child.