Late last year, on Dec. 29, 2021, Maxwell was found guilty of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors to participate in illegal sex acts, transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking conspiracy, and sex trafficking of a minor.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, from 1994 up until about 2004, Maxwell "assisted, facilitated, and participated in Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18."
The victims were reportedly as young as 14 years old at the time they were abused and groomed. Maxwell and Epstein had minors travel to Epstein’s homes in New York, Florida, and New Mexico, as well as Maxwell’s residence in London, England, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Maxwell and Epstein did this with the intention of grooming and subjecting those minors to sexual abuse.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Maxwell would become friends with victims, ask them about their lives, and accompany them shopping or to the movies. She would often be present when the victims interacted with Epstein to put them at ease by "providing the assurance and comfort of an adult woman who seemingly approved of Epstein’s behavior," the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Epstein often paid for victims to travel and provided educational opportunities with Maxwell’s encouragement. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Maxwell also made the victims feel like the sexual abuse was normal, and would undress in front of the victims. She was also present when the victims were undressed and would encourage the victims to massage Epstein.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said, "Ultimately, minor victims were subjected to sexual abuse that included, among other things, the touching of a victim’s breasts or genitals, placing a sex toy such as a vibrator on a victim’s genitals, directing a victim to touch Epstein while he masturbated, and directing a victim to touch Epstein’s genitals."
The victims were often vulnerable girls, usually from impoverished single-mother households. Maxwell and Epstein also paid some of their victims to recruit other girls to be abused by Epstein.
In addition to Maxwell’s prison sentence, she was sentenced to five years of supervised release along with a $750,000 fine.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, "Today’s sentence holds Ghislaine Maxwell accountable for perpetrating heinous crimes against children. This sentence sends a strong message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice."
Williams added, "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."