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Ghislaine Maxwell addressed her victims directly shortly before being handed a 20-year prison sentence.
At her trial six months ago, a jury found her guilty of luring in teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to molest, and the 60-year-old was convicted of sex trafficking minors, conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Now, Judge Alison Nathan has sentenced her to 20 years behind bars and handed down a fine of $750,000 (£615,000).
Her accusers came face to face with her as several women read victim impact statements to the court – describing her as a 'manipulative, cruel and merciless person'.
Addressing her victims directly before sentencing, she said: "To you, all the victims that came to today inside the court and outside…I am sorry for the pain you have experienced.
"I hope my sentence…brings you closure…peace and finality. To help you put those experiences in a place that helps you move forward."
Maxwell said the knowledge of the effects of her crimes 'tortures me every single day', and that she hoped the sentence 'brings this terrible chapter to an end and…help you travel from darkness into the light'.
She said: "It is hard for me to address the court after listening to the pain and anguish expressed in the statements made here.
"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.
"I want to acknowledge their suffering. I empathise deeply with all of the victims in this case."
She added that meeting Epstein was the 'greatest regret of my life' and that she wanted to 'acknowledge the suffering' of her victims.
"I know my association with Epstein will follow and and forever stain me. It is the greatest regret of my life that I ever met Jeffrey Epstein."
Maxwell, who was described as 'dangerous' by the prosecution during her three-week trial last year, helped entice vulnerable teenagers to Epstein’s various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Jurors heard that the socialite summoned a 14-year-old girl to an orgy, groped another victim, and laid a schoolgirl outfit out for a third accuser before a sexualised massage with Epstein, because she 'thought it would be fun'.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact The Survivor’s Trust for free on 08088 010 818, or through their website thesurvivorstrust.org
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