Former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has appealed her 20-year prison sentence for sex trafficking underage girls for the benefit of deceased US financier Jeffrey Epstein, US media reported on Wednesday (March 1st).
At the end of 2021, Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of having recruited young girls so that Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison in 2019 before being tried, could sexually abuse them.
His sentence was set at 20 years in prison at the end of June 2022.
The key role of Ghislaine Maxwell
During his trial, the prosecution had succeeded in convincing the court that the daughter of ex-press mogul Robert Maxwell had played a “
” role in the schemes put in place between 1994 and 2004 to push elderly teenage girls aged 14 to 17 giving Epstein massages during which he abused them.
Lawyers for the 61-year-old Briton appealed her conviction, ensuring that she had not received a fair trial and that American justice had a scapegoat for not being able to judge Jeffrey Epstein, according to legal documents filed Tuesday evening and revealed by several American media.
The government prosecuted Ms Maxwell...in response to public outrage over an unpopular waiver agreement and the death of the main perpetrator
," wrote one of the defense lawyers, Arthur Aidala, in a statement quoted by ABC News.
According to her lawyers, Ghislaine Maxwell should have benefited from an agreement concluded in 2007 by the federal prosecutors of Florida and Jeffrey Epstein guaranteeing the absence of prosecution for her possible accomplices, and was also sentenced for prescribed facts.
Criticizing the authorities' "
" to hold Ghislaine Maxwell responsible for Epstein's crimes, her lawyers also again denounced the rejection in April 2022 of a request for a new trial, which was based on the alleged bias of a juror.
Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were in a relationship in the early 1990s before becoming professional collaborators and accomplices in their sex crimes for nearly 30 years.
In a separate part of this file with international ramifications, the British prince Andrew, friend of the Maxwell-Epstein pair, had sealed in February 2022 a financial agreement with the American Virginia Giuffre, herself alleged victim of the couple, who accused of sexually assaulting her in 2001 when she was a minor.