US District Judge Alison J. Nathan handed down the sentencing in a New York courtroom. Federal prosecutors had sought 30 to 55 years against the former international jetsetter and British socialite who was described by reporters as wearing blue prison scrubs during her hearing.
The 60-year-old was convicted late last year of sex trafficking, transporting a minor to participate in illegal sex acts and two conspiracy charges related to the late financier. Epstein killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial, according to authorities.
Epstein faced allegations of sexual abuse from scores of women, though the court in Maxwell’s trial focused on testimony from four women. They described being abused as teenagers with the help of Maxwell, who they said recruited them to Epstein’s homes after showering them with attention and offers of mentorship. Once at his properties, the women said they were instructed to perform sexual massages and were sexually abused.
“I was frozen in fear,” testified one woman, only identified as Jane, who said she was 14 when she first met Epstein and Maxwell. “I’d never seen a penis before.”
Maxwell, who was arrested in 2020, has denied abusing anyone. Her attorneys claimed that she was being treated as a scapegoat for Epstein following his death and requested no more than five years as her sentence. Each of her charges faced her with a maximum prison term of five to 40 years.
“Epstein was the mastermind, Epstein was the principal abuser, and Epstein orchestrated the crimes for his personal gratification,” her attorneys said in court filings that sought leniency.