New York Daily News: By Molly Crane-Newman – Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced 20 years in prison Tuesday for enabling Jeffrey Epstein’s serial abuse of underage girls for a decade.

The former high-flying British socialite appeared in Manhattan Federal Court wearing a blue jail jumpsuit and shackles on her ankles.

The steep prison term all but ensures the former British socialite, described at trial as Epstein’s “lady of the house,” will remain imprisoned until her twilight years.

Government Exhibits in Ghislaine Maxwell – Jeffrey Epstein trial. Photos and material showing Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffery Epstein personal relationship as a couple – APhifer

“Today’s sentence holds Ghislaine Maxwell accountable for perpetrating heinous crimes against children. This sentence sends a strong message that no one is above the law and it is never too late for justice,” Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams said.

Testimony during last year’s trial revealed Maxwell instructed victims on how to pleasure Epstein beginning in the mid-1990s, forcing them into repeated rapes and sexual assaults at his Palm Beach mansion, Upper East Side Townhouse, and remote “Zorro” ranch in New Mexico. Epstein’s sick routine of abuse typically began under the guise of a massage.

Maxwell sometimes participated in the abuse and took sexually explicit photographs of Epstein’s victims for his gratification, victims said. Witnesses recalled Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew and other powerful men flying on Epstein’s private planes. A photo introduced at trial showed Epstein and Maxwell lounging at the Queen of England’s Scottish castle.

Speaking to victims in court, Maxwell expressed remorse but stopped short of an apology.

“Jeffrey Epstein should have been here before all of you,” Maxwell said. “I’m sorry for the pain you experienced…May this help you travel from darkness into the light.”

Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre alleges that she was intimate with Prince Andrew at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre, then 17, is shown with Prince Andrew and Maxwell at Maxwell’s London townhouse in 2001 – Photo is evidence in a federal l/HANDOUT

A naturalized U.S. citizen, Maxwell, 60, also holds British and French citizenship. Her siblings previously protested her innocence by pointing out that she didn’t flee upon Epstein’s arrest or his death.

She was arrested in July 2020 at an isolated, opulent timber frame mansion on a 156-acre property in New Hampshire purchased through an LLC. Prosecutors said she lived “transient lifestyle” after Epstein’s arrest and that she was “skilled” at hiding.

Jeffrey Epstein victims Elizabeth Stein, left, and Sarah Ransome arrive at Manhattan Federal Court Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Manhattan, New York – Barry Williams/for New York Daily News

The Epstein madam lost repeated bids for bail while awaiting trial, despite offering to put up tens of millions of dollars as collateral.

Epstein hanged himself in 2019 while awaiting trial for underage sex trafficking. Maxwell had argued that the feds, embarrassed by his suicide, unfairly substituted her for Epstein.

FILE — In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell enters the courtroom escorted by US Marshalls at the start of her trial, Nov 29, 2021, in New York. Maxwell faces the likelihood of years in prison when she is sentenced for helping the wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls. The sentencing hearing, Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in New York will be the culmination of a prosecution that detailed how Epstein and Maxwell flaunted their riches and associations with prominent people to groom vulnerable girls and then exploit them – AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams

Evidence obtained through civil lawsuits against Epstein and Maxwell showed the financier gave his former flame advice in 2015 as questioned mounted about their sick lifestyle.

“You have done nothing wrong and I would urge you to start acting like it,” Epstein wrote Maxwell.

“Go outside, head high, not as an escaping convict. Go to parties, deal with it.”