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7 Jul, 2022 22:37

Ghislaine Maxwell appeals conviction

The sex trafficker recently sentenced to 20 years in prison has filed an appeal to overturn her guilty verdict
Ghislaine Maxwell appeals conviction

Lawyers for disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell have officially appealed her recent conviction on five charges related to sex trafficking, as well as the 20-year sentence she received last month, according to paperwork filed in Manhattan federal court.

While the full text of the appeal has not been made public, Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim claimed she could not properly prepare her case because she lacked sufficient resources while incarcerated and insisted she could not possibly receive a fair trial given the media attention surrounding the events. 

Sternheim also argued that one juror who allegedly concealed his own history of childhood sexual abuse from the court should not have been seated. An earlier effort to secure a retrial based on that juror’s personal history failed, with Judge Allison Nathan ruling he had made an “honest mistake” on the juror questionnaire and denying the slip-up required a new trial.

Maxwell was sentenced last month to 20 years in prison plus five years of probation and fines totaling $750,000, though she will not have to pay restitution to her victims, who already received money from a compensation program related to Epstein himself. 

Judge Nathan disagreed with Maxwell’s attorney, arguing she had had more access to legal resources while in prison than most inmates and received better treatment than “the typical pretrial detainee at the [Metropolitan Detention Center] during the pandemic.”

The former procurer for deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was found guilty on five of the six charges, all relating to trafficking underage girls for the purposes of unlawful sexual activity. She also faces two counts of perjury for which she has not yet been tried.

In addition to her lawyers, Maxwell’s family have been campaigning heavily for the guilty verdicts to be overturned, insisting she is not safe in jail. Epstein, her former partner, died under mysterious circumstances in August 2019 while being held in pre-trial detention. His death by hanging was ruled a suicide.

Suspected Epstein associate and former modeling agency proprietor Jean-Luc Brunel was also found hanged in his jail cell earlier this year while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking in France.