Last week, we reported that Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged former madam of the late billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, was sentenced to twenty years in prison for grooming young girls for sex with him, and sometimes participating in the abuse herself.
Now, Maxwell is fighting back by formally launching an appeal of both her conviction and her sentence. Bloomberg News reported that Bobbi Sternheim, Maxwell’s lawyer, filed a notice of appeal in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday morning. She has not yet submitted a brief laying out her appellate arguments.
The Independent reported that U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan sentenced Maxwell, 60, to 20 years in prison and a $750,000 fine six months after she was convicted on five charges, including sex trafficking. Judge Nathan described Maxwell’s crimes during sentencing as “heinous and predatory,” adding that she deserved the sentence she was being given.
“Miss Maxwell directly and repeatedly and over the course of many years participated in a horrific scheme to entice, transport and traffic underage girls, some as young as 14,” Judge Nathan said, according to Yahoo News.
Maxwell herself expressed her regrets when she had the chance to address the court.
“I empathize deeply with all the victims in this case,” Maxwell said. “I realize I have been convicted of assisting Jeffrey Epstein to commit these crimes. My association with Epstein will permanently stain me. It is the biggest regret of my life that I ever met him.”
“I believe Jeffrey Epstein fooled all of those in his orbit,” she added. “His victims considered him a mentor, friend, lover.”
Maxwell’s attorneys have asked that she be allowed to serve out her sentence at FCI Danbury, a minimum security prison that is located in Connecticut. Maxwell is currently being held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, where she has been held since her arrest in July of 2020.
Immediately after Maxwell’s conviction, Sternheim had said that she planned to appeal.
“Ghislaine will appeal this case, and we are confident that she will prevail on appeal,” she said, according to Bloomberg News. “We all know that the person who should have been sentenced today escaped accountability, avoiding the victims, avoided absorbing their pain, and receiving the punishment he truly deserved.”
“Clever and cunning to the end, Jeffrey Epstein left Ghislaine Maxwell holding the whole bag,” she added.
Sternheim appears to be referring to the fact that Epstein allegedly committed suicide in prison back in 2019 while awaiting trial on his own sex crime charges.