Ghislaine Maxwell asks to serve 20-year sex trafficking sentence at ‘Disneyland’ prison in Connecticut

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Disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has requested to serve her 20-year sentence at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institute in Connecticut, the jail that was the inspiration for the fictional prison in the Netflix show Orange Is The New Black.

US District Judge Alison J Nathan handed down the sentence on Tuesday in Manhattan, six months after Maxwell was convicted by a federal jury on five charges, including sex trafficking.

Maxwell’s lawyer indicated that she would like to spend her two-decade sentence in the Connecticut facility, which is believed to be much better than her previous jail in New York.

Maxwell, who was found guilty of helping sex offender and billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse teenage girls for years, had alleged ill-treatment and abuse in her previous jail.

Shortly after she was convicted in December, reports suggested that Maxwell was headed for a jail “like Disneyland” in comparison to the “wretched, dank, cold” metropolitan detention centre in Brooklyn, New York, where she was awaiting trial.

The metropolitan detention centre is considered to be one of the toughest facilities in the US.

Maxwell had alleged that she shared her cell with rats and her food was infested with maggots. She had also claimed that she was abused by guards.

Her lawyers had submitted a prison preference when her pre-sentencing report was prepared, and it is believed they had pushed for Maxwell to be moved to the low-security federal correctional institution in Connecticut.

Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, where Maxwell was held prior to sentencing (AFP/Getty)
Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, where Maxwell was held prior to sentencing (AFP/Getty)

Experts believe that though Connecticut prison facility may be better than the one in Brooklyn, it is “no Disneyland”.

“She’s going to end up in a secure, female prison regardless. You know, not high security, but it won’t be a camp,” federal prison consultant Jack Donson told The Mirror.

He said the facility was “no country club” and that Maxwell would be a target no matter where she goes.

“It’s no fairy tale, it’s no Disneyland, it’s a prison.”

Danbury Federal Correctional Institute in Connecticut, where Maxwell has requested to serve her sentence (US Bureau of Prisons)
Danbury Federal Correctional Institute in Connecticut, where Maxwell has requested to serve her sentence (US Bureau of Prisons)

Maxwell’s attorneys had pushed for leniency in sentencing, demanding a prison sentence of four to five years, while prosecutors had pushed for a sentence of 30 to 55 years in prison.

On Tuesday, Judge Nathan described Maxwell’s offending as “heinous and predatory” as she sentenced her to a term that exceeded her own maximum sentencing guideline of up to 19 years and eight months.

The jury had found her guilty of recruiting and grooming four girls between 1994 and 2004 for sexual encounters with her former boyfriend Epstein, who took his own life behind bars in 2019 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial.

Maxwell will be 78 years old when she finishes the 20-year sentence after time served, followed by five years of supervised release.

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