Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced, Palm Beach closes dark chapter

On Wednesday, Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in a U.S prison for sex trafficking after a lengthy and highly publicized trial.

Maxwell was sentenced on four counts of sex trafficking for her then-boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein committed suicide in his New York prison cell in 2019 while awaiting his own trial for sex trafficking.

Judge Alison J Nathan who presided over the trial called Maxwell’s conduct “heinous and predatory”.

“Ms Maxwell worked with Epstein to select young victims who were vulnerable and played a pivotal role in facilitating sexual abuse,” she said.

Maxwell and Epstein’s trial cast a dark shadow over Palm Beach’s history, where Epstein presided.

Epstein’s home, where he is said to have sexually abused young women, was demolished last year after a real-estate developer purchased the property for $18.5 million.

The demolition of Epstein’s home along with Maxwell’s conviction may finally allow residents of Palm Beach to close out a chapter of the city’s history that has dominated headlines for years.

Many will find peace in the trial’s resolution, though some people are still calling for accountability for Epstein’s alleged clients.

Palm Beach County’s State Attorney Barry Krischer received significant negative attention due to his handling of a case that could have exposed Epstein seventeen years ago, in 2005.

The stepmother of a 14-year-old girl in Royal Palm Beach alleged that Epstein molested her step-daughter.

Numerous other witnesses came forward who also made claims of being molested by Epstein.

Epstein was only charged with one count of soliciting a prostitute, and Maxwell was let off the hook entirely.

Maxwell, for her part, acknowledged the pain that she caused her victims during her sentencing hearing for the first time since she stood trial.

Epstein’s neighbors were a part of the media frenzy that surrounded his and Maxwell’s lengthy trial, often being asked for interviews by media publications across the country.

Of those who talked to the media about Epstein, his neighbors and members of the West Palm community said they were shocked by the allegations against him.

“People have secret lives, he wasn’t going to trot that out in front of people.” Said James Patterson, a Palm Beach resident who later wrote a book about Epstein.

Marijke Chartouni, who was one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, left Americans and Floridians alike with a poginant reminder of how we must be vigilant to prevent abuses like this from happening again.

Additional stories you may want to read:

Sun-Sentinel is as bad as the Palm Beach Post

Florida reacts to Roe v Wade ruling

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