Heslin Maxwell used her “femininity to betray us” as if she were a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” as one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims put it before the British social activist was sentenced in New York.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other crimes after a month-long trial that included evidence from four women who said they had been abused as teens.
Virginia Giuffre was not included in the trial but became one of Epstein’s most well-known defendants after settling a sexual assault case against the Duke of York. Andrew denies her allegations.
In a victim impact statement submitted to federal court in Manhattan before Maxwell was sentenced on Tuesday, Ms. Joffrey said the woman should spend the rest of her life “caged.”
“I want to be clear about one thing: Without a doubt, Jeffrey Epstein was a pedophile. But I would not have met Jeffrey Epstein without you. For me, and for many, you opened the door to hell,” Ms. Jeffrey wrote in documents obtained by PA News Agency, Then, Ghislaine, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you used your femininity to betray us, and you led us all.
She added, “I fear every day and night that you will get away with it and avoid punishment. I will worry about that until you are brought to justice. And what should this justice look like? Gislyn, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in a prison cell. You deserve to be caged to Forever, just as you trapped your victims.”
In her impact statement, Maxwell victim Annie Farmer called on the ruling judge to take into account the “continued suffering of so many (Maxwell) women who have been abused and exploited because we will continue to live with memories of the ways in which they have offended us.”
Ms Farmer also said: “I ask you to bear in mind how Maxwell’s unwillingness to admit her crimes, her lack of remorse, and her frequent lies about her victims, created a need for so many of us to engage in a long battle for justice that has led to it feeling like a black hole sucking up our precious time. And our energy and our well-being for a very long time now. These things cannot be replaced.”
Prosecutors argued that Maxwell should serve between 30 and 55 years in prison, reversing sentencing guidelines.
Defense attorneys said in the sentencing memorandum that she should not spend more than five years in prison and not pay for Epstein’s crimes, as he is the mastermind and main abuser and “arranged the crimes for his own personal satisfaction.”
Prosecutors urged the judge to dismiss Maxwell’s pleas for leniency on the grounds that she had suffered unusual ways in prison while awaiting and after trial.
Defense attorneys said she faced death threats and harsh conditions that caused her to lose her hair and weight.
Prosecutors said Maxwell’s appearance at trial proved those allegations to be false, adding: “The accused is in good health, and his hair is full.”