Crime Ghislaine Maxwell, Accomplice to Jeffrey Epstein, Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking "It was Ghislaine who was the real enforcer," Sarah Ransome, an Epstein survivor, told PEOPLE in 2021. "She was the enforcer. She was the groomer. She controlled everything" By Elaine Aradillas Published on June 28, 2022 02:32 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison today for her role in sex trafficking girls alongside financier Jeffrey Epstein. In addition to her prison sentence, Maxwell was fined $750,000, the maximum allowable. Maxwell, 60, was found guilty in December of recruiting, enticing and transporting minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein. The charges were laid out in an indictment involving allegations from four different accusers. "To you, all the victims ... I am sorry for the pain that you experienced," Maxwell said after listening to numerous victims who gave victim impact statements. "It is my sincerest wish to all those in this courtroom and to all those outside this courtroom that this day brings a terrible chapter to the end, to an end. And to those of you who spoke here today and those of you who did not, may this day help you travel from darkness into the light." At the sentencing, attorney Sigrid McCawley read a statement from her client Virginia Giuffre, a survivor who reached an out-of-court settlement in her sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew earlier this year. For more on Ghislaine Maxwell's sentencing, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day. "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," it said. "Ghislaine, you deserve to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell. You deserve to be trapped in a cage forever, just like you trapped your victims." Ghislaine Maxwell. Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Ahead of the sentencing, prosecutors said Epstein — who died by suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial — sexually abused children for more than a decade, and relied on the assistance of Maxwell, his longtime companion and former girlfriend. "Maxwell's conduct was shockingly predatory. She was a calculating, sophisticated, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse," prosecutors wrote in a court filing obtained by the Associated Press. During a press conference following Maxwell's arrest in 2020, then U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss detailed some of the allegations against Maxwell, asserting that she helped Epstein "identify, befriend and groom minor victims of abuse" — including girls as young as 14 — and sometimes "participated in the abuse herself." Strauss stated that Maxwell and Epstein would take girls out to the movies and on shopping trips and pretend to take an interest in them. Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2005. Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty "After developing a rapport with the victims, Maxwell then tried to normalize sexual abuse with a minor victim through a process known as grooming," Strauss said, explaining that Maxwell would discuss sexual topics with the girls, undress in front of them and be present for sex acts involving the girls and Epstein. Sexual contact between the victims and Epstein would often begin with "sexualized massages," during which the underage girls were fully or partially nude, according to Strauss. The massages opened the door for further sexual encounters "where Maxwell was sometimes present and participated," she added. "It was Ghislaine who was the real enforcer," Sarah Ransome, an Epstein survivor, told PEOPLE in 2021. "She was the enforcer. She was the groomer. She controlled everything." 'Literally the Perfect Victim': Jeffrey Epstein Survivor Recounts Grooming, Abuse on 'Pedophile Island' Last December, Maxwell was found guilty of conspiracy to entice minors to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; conspiracy to transport minors in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; transporting a minor with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors; and sex trafficking of a minor. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. At her sentencing, a series of victim impact statements were read aloud from women who were abused by Epstein and Maxwell. Annie Farmer, one of the four women who testified at Maxwell's trial last year, filed a statement ahead of the sentencing. "I ask you to bear in mind how Maxwell's unwillingness to acknowledge her crimes, her lack of remorse, and her repeated lies about her victims created the need for many of us to engage in a long fight for justice that has felt like a black hole sucking in our precious time, energy, and well being for much too long now."