Posted by [US] on 6/28/2022 to Hollywood
Ghislaine Maxwell Sentencing
Maxwell: I empathized deeply with all the victims in this case. 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."
Ghislaine Maxwell: I am sorry for the pain you have experienced. I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you peace and finality. I hope this date bring a terrible chapter to the end.
Judge Nathan: A significant sentence is necessary. I take into account the history & characteristics of the defendant, including her present lack of danger.
Judge Nathan: Ms. Maxwell is entitled to exercise her right to go to trial. But I will take into account her lack of remorse. I conclude that a sentence of 240 months (20 YEARS) is right.
Victim, Sarah Ransome, Speaks to Media at Ghislaine Maxwell's Sentencing: Constant stream of girls being raped over and over. ..Ghislaine must die in prison. Because I've been in hell and back for the last 17 years. I was 10 years old....that's how long the sex trafficking ring has been going on for.
Court Transcripts from Maxwell Sentencing 6.28.22:
Judge Nathan: I have ready the parties' submissions, including the letters from friends and family members of Ms. Maxwell. I got a letter from an inmate at MDC about Ms. Maxwell's assistance with tutoring. I also have victim impact statements...
Judge Nathan: Ms. Moe, what has the US done to notify victims?
Asst US Attorney Alison Moe: We used the Victim Notification page on our website.
Judge Nathan: The pre-sentence report.
Ms. Maxwell, have you read it?
Maxwell: I have an an opportunity to read it.
Judge Nathan: Mr. Everdell, I know that Ms. Maxwell has continuing objections. Please proceed. It seems your first objection is to Paragraph 22?
Maxwell's lawyer Christian Everdell: Yes that's correct.
Judge Nathan: I overrule the objection. I credit the testimony that the defendant targets Ms. Guiffre in the Mara-a-Lago parking lot. Now, as to the assertion that Epstein transferred $23 million to Maxwell during the conspiracy. I find the evidence supports that
Judge Nathan: As to the claim that Epstein did not buy Maxwell her New York townhouse, I credit the testimony of Kate that it happened. I also credit Mr. Alessi's testimony about orders to see nothing and say nothing.
Judge Nathan: Paragraph 26, I overrule the objection - the evidence showed the Defendant and Epstein isolated girls, as in New Mexico. On Paragraph 29, I overrule the objection to the inclusion of Kate and her name. The US didn't assert she was a statutory victim
Judge Nathan: Jane's testimony established that the Defendant took steps to make her feel comfortable to have sexual contact with Epstein. Kate's testimony established that the massages were sexualized. Flight records establish it was before Virginia was 18.
Judge Nathan: Paragraph 72, defendant objects to the statement Epstein penetrated Carolyn. I overrule - Carolyn testified to this at trial. Para's 75-6, defendant objects because the perjury counts have not been presented to a jury. I overrule. I can consider it.
Judge Nathan: Paragraph 81, defendant says Ms. Maxwell had no personal knowledge of these sexualized massage. I overrule that - they did not interact directly with Ms. Maxwell, but I do conclude her recruitment of Virginia set the scheme in motion.
Judge Nathan: OK, with those rulings I now adopt the Pre-Sentence Report. It will remain under seal. Now we turn to the sentencing guidelines. There are significant disagreements. The probation department recommends 240 months in prison.
Maxwell's lawyer Everdell: We argue that which guidelines apply is a jury question, under the ex post facto clause. The government did not engage with our arguments. When did the offense conduct terminate? It's up to the jury to decide.
AUSA Moe: The conspiracy was still alive past the end of 2004 --
Judge Nathan: But what you point to is definitionally non-conspiracy conduct.
AUSA Moe: The question is whether a conspiracy was still ongoing. It's the defendant's burden.
Maxwell's lawyer Everdell: The government is relying on a single message pad, undated. There is no reliable, credible evidence. The court has to consider the weight and reliability of the evidence. The message pad is not sufficient
Judge Nathan: I have a question about the leadership enhancement. But anything more, Mr. Everdell?
Everdell: You have the discretion to sentencing under the 2003 Guidelines. I understand that may not be where you are going
Maxwell's lawyer Everdell: There was evidence of money moving, but it was for the helicopter, it was not for Ms. Maxwell.
AUSA Moe: We offer financial transactions to refute the claim that the defendant had moved on. She remained a close associate for many years
AUSA Moe: The evidence shows that Ms. Maxwell had a supervisory role over Sarah Kellen. That's enough.
Judge Nathan: The leadership over her, as opposed to Epstein being the leader - or there's Kellen sort of replacing Maxwell in the role - can you explain?
AUSA Moe: The defendant was calling victims about massages. Then they bought in Kellen to do it. They traveled together. Maxwell was higher up in the leadership structure. You have 2 knowing conspirators bringing in a much younger woman, so Maxwell was directing
Maxwell's lawyer Everdell: It is not a fair inference that Ms. Maxwell was supervising Sarah Kellen. Carolyn says Kellen took over, there was a break, they did not overlap. Sarah Kellen replaced Ms. Maxwell. It couldn't be clearer.
AUSA Moe: Maxwell was still present inside the Palm Beach residence. With respect to the pilots' testimony, it included the statement that Kellen reported to Maxwell. There was an overlap.
Everdell: Being present is not enough, it means nothing
Maxwell's lawyer Everdell: Do you want to hear on the five point enhancement for being a repeat dangerous sexual offender. She has never been accused of a crime in the 18 years since.
AUSA Moe: We rest on our brief.
Judge Nathan: The controlling date for ex post facto purposes is the last date of the offense conduct. The first message pad has no date - so I must apply the 2003 guidelines.
Judge Nathan: The defendant argues that she did not lead another criminal participant. I find the US has shown the defendant did supervise Sarah Kellen. Maxwell was Epstein's Number Two and the lady of the house.
Judge Nathan: On the undue influence enhancement, I find that it applies. And there is no double-counting here. The jury in Count 6 did convict Maxwell of sex trafficking Carolyn. Other victims testifying they received money.
Judge Nathan: Carolyn testified that she needed the money for her drug addiction, then for her new-born son. I cite US v. Stebb in the 8th Circuit in 2022. A minor can be a victim even if they initiate the sexual encounter.
Judge Nathan: I find the offense level is 37, history of 1, under the 2003 guideline it begins at 210 months... Or, the offense level is 36, so guideline range of 188 to 235 months.
Judge Nathan: So we don't need to resolve the factual objections about Carolyn's age. With respect to fines, the defense contests including the $10 million bequest from Epstein's estate.
Maxwell's lawyer Everdell: We don't know if there will be any money left.
AUSA Moe: I don't have additional information on the status of the estate. But it's listed in the Pre-Sentencing Report. So I don't think the objection is well founded.
Judge Nathan: It's listed as an affidavit. That she may lose it is not a basis for excluding it
Judge Nathan: Ms. Maxwell reported $22 million in asset when seeking bail. I am unpersuaded Ms. Maxwell is indigent. I intend to impose a fine. With that, I'm going to take a break and then come back at 1 pm
And we're back -- All rise!
Judge Nathan: Ms. Moe, you may take the podium.
AUSA Moe: Ms. Maxwell first met Jane at 14 years old. What she did to Jane and the others was almost unspeakable. Their pain is real and it matters. We ask for an above guideline sentence
AUSA Moe: These girls were just kids. Maxwell used their dreams as a tool to abuse them. Look at her actions: she persuaded young girls to massage a middle aged man's feet? She groped a girl's chest.
Assistant US Attorney Moe: What kind of woman teaches a 14 year old girl how a middle aged man how he likes to have his pen*s touched? She was indifferent to the suffering of others. She did it for years.
AUSA Moe: She saw two kind of people. Those who mattered and those who were disposable. She jet setted with Epstein; they molested kids together. These girls now woman are strong, they have shown the world. They carry the trauma.
AUSA Moe: This is one of the rare cases for an above Guidelines sentence. The 2003 Guidelines were inadequate. Consider the sophistication of her predatory conduct. We ask the court to send a message no one is above the law.
Judge Nathan: OK. Ms. Annie Farmer.
Annie Farmer: For a long time I wanted to erase from my mind the crimes Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell committed against me. I learned that my sister had also been harmed.
Judge Nathan: Please slow down
Annie Farmer: The ripple effects of trauma are undeniable. I felt pain as a sister when Maria was harmed. (sobs). As my family watched her become more isolated and physically ill, there was nothing we could do. She was exploited by Maxwell.
Annie Farmer: Maxwell had many opportunities to come clean. She lied about my sister and me. Later when I pursued my career as a psychologist, I fear to be connected to this case, wrongly described as child prostitution.
Annie Farmer: Consider the ongoing suffering of her victims. Weigh the systemic effects of her acts. Her lack of remorse created the need for many of us to begin a long struggle for justice.
Judge Nathan: Next is Kate. The sketch artist shall not draw her.
"Kate" (British accent) - How you do anything is how you do everything. Every person should have an equal fight to be protected. No person should be shielded from the consequences of their actions. Ghislaine's lack of remorse is the final insult.
Kate: Someone starting a non profit does not excuse sex trafficking of minors. [The reference is to Maxwell's Terramar Project, on whose board UNSG @antonioguterres maintained a representative. But he has legal immunity
Kate: Today I stand for the first time with my sisters to say Enough is enough. I take no pleasure in being part of a world in which this is necessary. Stop Ghislaine. I could not have done this alone.
Judge Nathan: Counsel for Virginia Roberts.
Statement of Virginia Roberts Giuffre: Together, you damaged me. Together, you did unspeakable things. I want to be clear: without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible pedophile. But I only met him because of you
Virginia Roberts Giuffre: You used your femininity to victimize us. You could have put an end to the rapes. I have grown into a woman who on her best days feels she is making a difference. If you get out of prison I will watch to make sure you don't do it again
Sarah Ransome: I continue to suffer. I came to New York at 22, to attend FIT. I was introduced to Epstein. I became nothing more than a six toy for the entertainment of Epstein, Maxwell and others. I was abuse in the mansion and on his private island
Sarah Ransome: I tried to escape the island by jumping off a cliff into shark infested waters. Epstein and Maxwell lured us in then pounced. Like Hotel California you could check in but you could never leave. They used my visa status and family to trap me.
Sarah Ransome: They told me I had potential (sobs). They had connections to FIT. There was always a but. I needed to lose 30 pounds. They put me on a strict Atkins diet. I never lost the weight. I never got to use my application. I thank God I escaped in 2007.
Sarah Ransome: I experience flashbacks (sobs). I am hyper vigilant and do not trust people easily. I will sometimes start crying for reasons I cannot always comprehend. I've been diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD and tendency to self-harm.
Sarah Ransome: I have never entered into normal relationship. I have no children, something I dreamed of. I attend meetings to treat alcoholism. I have had numerous relapses. Only by the grace of God do I continue to live. I have attempted suicide twice.
Sarah Ransome: I came to New York to attend the trial. It was cathartic. I am glad the jury believed the victims and returned a guilty verdict. Sentence her to the rest of her life in prison. It will give us survivors a slight sense of justice.
Sarah Ransome: To Ghislaine, I say, you broke me but not my spirit.
Judge Nathan: Thank you. I'll now hear the statement of Ms [Elizabeth] Stein.
Stein: I came to New York in 1991 at the age of 18 to attend FIT. I became an intern at a store - and Maxwell came in.
Stein: Maxwell's links to Epstein and Les Wexner became aware of me. I went to deliver her clothes. Epstein was there and they sexually assaulted me. I returned to FIT, and the Henri Bendel store. But they pursued me, even when I went to Bloomingdales.
Stein: She wore me down. I went with them to Florida. I got fired. I was trafficked to their friends. By that time I was trapped. I was raped in New York and Florida for a three year period. I can not speak about it. I do not have the vocabulary.
Stein: I once loved life. After I met them it felt like someone turned off the lights to my soul. I changed jobs, apartments, cities and even states. They found me. In 1997 I moved to Philadelphia, hoping to finally starting law school. They found me...
Stein: I began physical therapy. The arrest of Epstein in 2019 and of Maxwell in 2020 helped me. I could disclose their abuse to medical providers. This past November and December I took the train from Philadelphia to watch the trial, anonymously.
Stein: Ghislaine Maxwell fed me to Jeffrey Epstein. For 25 years Maxwell has lived free, while I have had none of the life experiences I should have. She'd had her life. Now it's time for mine.
Judge Nathan: Thanks. Ms. Sternheim.
Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim: To those who spoke, you have shown courage... The purpose of today is not to take issue with the record. That will be addressed to the Court of Appeals. This is about the US asking for "multiple decades" for a 60 year old woman
Sternheim: Probation recommended 20 years - now higher than applicable guideline. The US asks for the outer limits. It is out of proportion. Jeffrey Epstein would have faced the same - and he is clearly more culpable.
Sternheim: I know that what we heard today does not beg sympathy for Ghislaine. She has lived her whole life under a cloud. The accident of her brother just after she was born, on Christmas Day. Her narcissistic father overwhelmed her childhood and early adulthood
Sternheim: She is over 60 years old. She has no history of violence. When she was moved, in the past two months, to general population she began conducting English classes.
Sternheim: A sentence below the guidelines is sufficient. She should not be sent away from the rest of her life.
Judge Nathan: Ms. Maxwell.
Maxwell enters the booth to speak. She is in a blue prison shirt over white long sleeved shirt. She puts on glasses & begins
Maxwell: I empathized deeply with all the victims in this case. 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 than I ever met him.
Maxwell: I believe Jeffrey Epstein fooled all of those in his orbit. 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.
Maxwell: I am sorry for the pain you have experience. I hope my conviction and harsh incarceration brings you peace and finality. I hope this date bring a terrible chapter to the end.
Judge Nathan: Thank you, Ms. Maxwell. I'll get to the statement of judgment.
Judge Nathan: The guideline is 188 to 235 months... A jury convicted her. Ms. Maxwell is not being punished as a proxy of Epstein, but rather for her role in the criminal conduct. She participated in some of the abuse. Her conduct was heinous and predatory.
Judge Nathan: While Jane was 14, Maxwell engaged in sexual conduct with Epstein while she was present... Carolyn confided in Maxwell that she had been raped by her grandfather. Maxwell used it, to subject her to a cycle of abuse. Maxwell touched her breasts.
Judge Nathan: A significant sentence is necessary. I take into account the history & characteristics of the defendant, including her present lack of danger. She had an overbearing father. She's engaged in environment conservation [Terramar]
Judge Nathan: Conditions at the MDC have not been what they should be. But Ms. Maxwell has not been singled out. Many of the complaints have been unfounded. This lack of candor is consistent with dishonesty about finances, and in the civil deposition
Judge Nathan: The sentencing submissions did not express remorse or accept responsibility. Ms. Maxwell is entitled to exercise her right to go to trial. But I will take into account her lack of remorse. I conclude that a sentence of 240 months is right.
Judge Nathan: That is 20 years. Then five years of supervised release. I impose a fine of $750,000. She has received a $10 million bequest from Epstein.
Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim: The bequest in the will, she has received nothing.
Judge Nathan: There are additional assets. The sentence as stated is imposed. Designation?
Sternheim: We request the BOP facility in Danbury, Connecticut. And the FIT program
AUSA Moe: The US moves to dismiss counts 7 and 8.
Judge Nathan: You have the right to appeal, within 14 days. Anything else?
[Sources & Credits]