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Ghislaine Maxwell's victims confronted her at her sentencing, describing how she and Jeffrey Epstein left them broken in 'unfathomable ways'

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Liz Stein Sarah Ransome Ghislaine Maxwell
Liz Stein, left, and Sarah Ransome, right, leave court after attending the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell.TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
  • Four victims confronted Ghislaine Maxwell at her sentencing on sex-trafficking charges on Tuesday.

  • The victims told similar stories of being ensnared in Jeffrey Epstein's orbit by the charming Maxwell.

  • They said the abuse they suffered as a result left them with enduring mental health issues.

Several of Ghislaine Maxwell's victims confronted her in person in court Tuesday just before a judge sentenced the British socialite to 20 years in prison for sex-trafficking minors as part of Jeffrey Epstein's pedophile sex ring.

Four victims spoke in person, while a fifth — Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who lives in Australia and is dealing with a health issue — had her lawyer speak on her behalf.

The five women told similar stories of how Maxwell lured them into Jeffrey Epstein's orbit, where they proceeded to suffer "horrific" sexual abuse that has had lifelong repercussions on their mental health.

Many of the women spoke about being introduced to Epstein by Maxwell herself, including Giuffre, who said Maxwell procured her for Epstein after spotting her at Mar-a-Lago in 2000, when she was just 16 years old.

"I want to be clear about one thing: without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible pedophile. But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you," Giuffre said in the statement, read out by her lawyer. "For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell."

Annie Farmer, who testified at the trial about being massaged by Maxwell when she was 16 years old for Epstein's sexual enjoyment, broke down in tears as she described the "ripple effect" that abuse had on her family, which has also had to deal with her sister being a victim of Maxwell and Epstein as well.

Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell speaks during her sentencing for sex trafficking.Elizabeth Williams/AP

Following the sentencing hearing, Farmer told Insider she was satisfied with Maxwell's 20-year sentence. She said at a press conference that she hopes it sends a message to sexual abusers that they'd be held accountable.

"I just hope that this sentence is another sign that victims are coming together and saying 'no more,'" Farmer said. "If you commit these crimes, you will be punished. If you facilitate these crimes, you will be punished. If you are a bystander that looks the other way, you will not be allowed to continue to be put in a position of power."

Perhaps some of the most graphic descriptions of grief came from Sarah Ransome, who wasn't a victim included in the indictment but was allowed to make a statement to the court nonetheless.

Ransome said that after Maxwell introduced her to Epstein with the promise of helping her get into the Fashion Institute of Technology, she became "nothing more than a sex toy."

She said Maxwell "ensnared" her "into the upside-down, twisted world of rape, rape, rape."

While she eventually escaped Epstein and Maxwell's grip, Ransome said she's dealt with nightmares and flashbacks that have left her waking up in a cold sweat. She has a hard time trusting people, and has never married or had children — "something I always wished for as a girl."

Ransome also said that she's attempted suicide multiple times, and has had numerous relapses of her alcoholism.

"Only by the grace of God do I continue to live," Ransome said.

To Maxwell, she said: "You broke me in unfathomable ways."

Annie Farmer Ghislaine Maxwell sentencing
Annie Farmer, a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, speaks to the press following the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell outside the U.S. Courthouse in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., June 28, 2022.REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Annie Farmer's sister, Maria Farmer, submitted a written impact statement to the court in the days before Maxwell's sentencing, as well as another victim, Theresa Helm.

All of the victims requested that Maxwell get a hefty sentence.

"You deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell," Giuffre wrote in her statement.

One victim, who was identified only by the pseudonym "Kate" at the trial, said Maxwell's "lack of remorse" was the "final insult." She called Maxwell a "manipulative, cruel person" who needed to be "held accountable" for the hurt she caused.

Referring to Maxwell's lawyers' argument that she should receive a light sentence because of her overbearing father and loss of family prestige, Kate pointed out that she also had a bad childhood and never sex-trafficked anyone.

"Having a difficult childhood is irrelevant to her crimes," she said

Victim Liz Stein spoke about Maxwell introducing her to Epstein the day they first met in 1991, while she was an 18-year-old college student working at the luxury fashion brand Henri Bendel.

That night was the first time that Stein says Maxwell and Epstein abused her, but she says she was "assaulted, raped, and trafficked countless times" by the pair.

She said the abuse caused emotional, mental, and physical damage that has made it impossible for her to lead a normal life. When she looks at her siblings, who have careers and relationships, the only difference she sees in their life is that she met Maxwell, and they didn't.

Stein said that Epstein and Maxwell's arrests "helped me immensely" but she feels like she's just starting her life at the age of 48.

"I felt like I was in prison," Stein said.

She added that now it's Maxwell's turn.

Read the original article on Insider