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Ghislaine Maxwell accuser calls prison sentence "tremendous relief"

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Annie Farmer, who accused Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell of groping her when she was 16 years old, said Wednesday that hearing Maxwell's prison sentence gave her "tremendous relief." Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for helping Epstein sexually abuse underage girls for at least a decade.

"It was a very intense day emotionally," Farmer told "CBS Mornings" on Wednesday. "But it was also a tremendous relief to hear that sentence read and to know that she's going to be spending the majority of her life behind bars for the crimes she's committed."

Farmer told jurors last year that she accepted an invitation to Epstein's New Mexico ranch in 1996 with the hopes that Maxwell and the financier would help her with academic endeavors. She said Maxwell's presence made her believe that she would be safe with Epstein. Instead, Farmer said Maxwell massaged her upper breast and Epstein climbed into bed with her without her permission.

Before Maxwell's sentencing on Tuesday, Farmer was among six victims who shared victim impact statements. She said she "spoke directly" to Judge Alison Nathan in her statement and attempted to make eye contact with Maxwell "several times" while reading it, but that Maxwell "never looked back."

"I wanted her to take into account some of the long-term impacts that these kinds of crimes have and have had for me and for my sister Maria, and I wanted her to understand there's systemic effects of those," Farmer said. "It's not just about those individuals, but also about all their loved ones and the pain and suffering that, you know, communities go through because of these crimes."

Maxwell was convicted of multiple charges related to sex trafficking and conspiracy for her involvement in Epstein's trafficking ring. Her sentence also includes five additional years of supervised release, a $750,000 fine and an order to immediately pay $100 for each count on which she was convicted.

Maxwell's legal team was given 14 days to appeal her sentence, which they said they plan to do.

"I don't expect that she'll have much luck with that," Farmer said. "I think that, you know, it was a clear case. I think the judge was very fair in her rulings and I don't expect she'll be getting out of prison for a long time."

On Tuesday, Maxwell recognized the impact her actions caused to victims and her loved ones in a statement.

"I am sorry for the pain you experienced," Maxwell said. "I hope my conviction along with my harsh incarceration brings you closure."

But Farmer said she didn't believe Maxwell's statement was an apology.

"She didn't take any responsibility," Farmer said. "She acknowledged that there was pain and suffering, but she did not take ownership of causing that pain and suffering so it felt very hollow to me and the other women I spoke with afterwards."

Farmer, who is a psychologist, said she hopes this case teaches others about what grooming is and makes her work with trauma survivors "really meaningful."

"I hope people can recognize these patterns that predators often use," she said.

Emily Mae Czachor, Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays contributed reporting.

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