Maxwell’s lawyer said the late Jeffrey Epstein ‘escaped accountability, avoided his victims, avoided absorbing their pain, and receiving the punishment he truly deserved’
Ghislaine Maxwell was left “holding the bag” for the crimes of the “cunning” Jeffrey Epstein, her attorney Bobbi Sternheim said after the socialite was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for child sex-trafficking.
Addressing reporters on the steps of the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse in downtown Manhattan, Ms Sternheim said they had resisted speaking before the sentence was delivered “out of respect for the court”.
“But as you can see now, the mask is off,” said Ms Sternheim.
Ms Sternheim claimed Maxwell had been “vilified” and “pilloried”, and had been treated poorly by the criminal justice system and the public.
“Even before she stepped into this courthouse, she was being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.”
Ms Sternheim said Epstein, who was found dead while awaiting trial in 2019, was the true culprit.
“We all know the person who should have been sentenced today escaped accountability, avoided his victims, avoided absorbing their pain, and receiving the punishment he truly deserved.
“Clever and cunning to the end, Jeffery Epstein left Ghislaine Maxwell holding the whole bag.”
“We recognise that the public at large has little sympathy or compassion for inmates, of course until they themselves or their families have brushes with the law and find themselves thrust into the criminal justice system.”
Ms Sternheim said they were confident an appeal against the verdict and sentencing would be successful, and described Maxwell as a “truly extraordinary person”.
“She has been sentenced to an extremely long term of imprisonment for a 60 year old woman who has shown no involvement in criminal activity for the better part of 20 years.”
Ms Sternheim was flanked by Maxwell’s twin sisters Isabel and Christine, and brother Kevin Maxwell, who gave a brief statement in support of his sister.
“Ghislaine will be excercing her right to appeal her conviction and sentence. We as a family are solidly behind her all the way," hy het gesê.