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Judge recommends that Ghislaine Maxwell spend 20 years at Connecticut federal prison

 Ghislaine Maxwell could spend her 20-year sentence at the Connecticut federal prison that inspired ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and housed ‘Real Housewives’ star Teresa Giudice – a far cry from the infamous Metropolitan Detention Center where she’s been held since her arrest.

Judge Alison Nathan recommended that Maxwell be sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, a low-security facility about 55 miles from New York City.

Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for helping the sex offender and globetrotting financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls, in what a judge called a ‘horrific scheme’ that inflicted ‘incalculable’ harm on victims.

The prison has held previous inmates including singer Lauryn Hill, reality TV star Teresa Giudice, and Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black. It is believed Kerman partly based Litchfield Prison in Orange Is the New Black on Danbury.

There is no parole for federal prison, so Maxwell is likely to serve the entire 20-year sentence, but could potentially be released a few years early for good behavior. 

After spending nearly two years at the infamous Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, prison experts have said that a stay at Danbury will make her feel like she is in ‘Disneyland.’

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for helping sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls, in what a judge called a 'horrific scheme' that inflicted 'incalculable' harm on victims

Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for helping sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls, in what a judge called a ‘horrific scheme’ that inflicted ‘incalculable’ harm on victims

Judge Alison Nathan recommended that Maxwell be sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, a low-security facility about 55 miles from New York City

Judge Alison Nathan recommended that Maxwell be sent to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, a low-security facility about 55 miles from New York City

Maxwell is seen in 2005 with Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in jail in July 2019

Maxwell is seen in 2005 with Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in jail in July 2019

The facility has a number of cushy programs on offer for inmates, including a ‘wide variety of hobby craft and music’ as well as circuit training, aerobics, over 50 fitness. 

Aerial photos of the prison also boasts a running track, a baseball pitch, and a well manicured lawn with trees and pathways. 

It is unclear whether Maxwell would get to take part in any of the amenities depending on the level of security she would need.

The British socialite was convicted in December of five charges, including sex trafficking a minor, for recruiting and grooming four girls to have sexual encounters with Epstein, then her boyfriend, between 1994 and 2004. 

Speaking at her sentencing hearing in Manhattan federal court before learning the sentence, Maxwell called Epstein a ‘manipulative, cunning and controlling man’ who fooled everyone in his orbit.

She said she was ‘sorry’ for the pain that his victims experienced. ‘It is the greatest regret of my life that I ever met Jeffrey Epstein,’ Maxwell said.

Danbury federal correctional institution, which opened in August 1940, has held previous inmates including singer Lauryn Hill, reality TV star Teresa Giudice, and is thought to be the inspiration for the Netflix show 'Orange is the New Black'

Danbury federal correctional institution, which opened in August 1940, has held previous inmates including singer Lauryn Hill, reality TV star Teresa Giudice, and is thought to be the inspiration for the Netflix show ‘Orange is the New Black’

Aerial photos show the prison also boasts a running track, a baseball pitch, and a well manicured lawn with trees and pathways

Aerial photos show the prison also boasts a running track, a baseball pitch, and a well manicured lawn with trees and pathways

Inmates at Danbury are offered a 'wide variety of hobby craft and music programs' like circuit training, aerobics, fitness class

Inmates at Danbury are offered a ‘wide variety of hobby craft and music programs’ like circuit training, aerobics, fitness class

Netflix show Orange is the New Black is based on the real life story of life inside Danbury prison

Netflix show Orange is the New Black is based on the real life story of life inside Danbury prison

Maxwell appeared in a blue prison uniform with shackles around her ankles, addressed the court and said she was ‘fooled’ by Epstein.

‘I realize I have been convicted of assisting Jeffrey Epstein to commit these crimes,’ she said. ‘My association with Epstein will permanently stain me. It is the biggest regret of my life that I ever met him.’

She added that Epstein ‘fooled all of those in his orbit.’

Prosecutors had asked Judge Nathan to impose a sentence of at least 30 years because of Maxwell’s ‘utter lack of remorse,’ while Maxwell claimed she should serve just four years as she is not a danger to the public.

After the sentencing on Tuesday, Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim said outside the courthouse, ‘Our client Ghislaine Maxwell has been vilified, pilloried and left little room for her to be treated fairly. Because even before she stropped forward into this courthouse, she was being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

‘Ghislaine will appeal this case and we’re confident she will prevail on appeal.’

Maxwell, who has been at the infamous Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center since July 2020, has filed more than 100 complaints over jail conditions that she has called a ‘living hell’ where she was ‘assaulted and abused.’

Maxwell has been at MDC in Brooklyn since July 2020 and has filed over 100 complaints

Maxwell has been at MDC in Brooklyn since July 2020 and has filed over 100 complaints

A typical cell in the MDC, with a combination toilet and sink fixture

A typical cell in the MDC, with a combination toilet and sink fixture

A room inside the MDC, which is used for medical examinations

A room inside the MDC, which is used for medical examinations

She has complained of ‘humiliating’ body-cavity and strip searches, and invasive shower surveillance.

Maxwell – the jet-setting daughter of a wealthy British newspaper tycoon; a glamorous society darling who mingled with former presidents, billionaires and royals – complained that her treatment in the MDC amounted to torture.

Her family wanted to take the case to the United Nations, claiming that she was subjected to inhumane treatment – fed rotten food, kept in excessively hot and cold conditions, and living in a cell that flooded with raw sewage.

Justin Paperny, a federal prison consultant, said that wherever she ends up next, it will mark the beginning of a significantly improved phase in her incarceration.

Another prison expert previously told The Times that her new situation would be ‘like Disneyland’ by comparison. Paperny said the MDC had been infamous long before Maxwell set foot there.

In the winter of 2019, the power and heating failed, leading to outrage among relatives of 1,636 male and female inmates, and among activists.

A scathing report into conditions inside the jail commissioned in the aftermath was suppressed by the Bureau of Prisons until July this year, and the jail was described as violent, filthy, overcrowded and decrepit.

A bunk bed inside a cell at Danbury prison is pictured in the late 1980s

A bunk bed inside a cell at Danbury prison is pictured in the late 1980s

A cafeteria at Danbury prison is pictured in the late 1980s

A cafeteria at Danbury prison is pictured in the late 1980s

Paperny said the difference between the MDC and her post-sentencing prison will be stark.

‘Once she reaches prison she’ll feel like she’s won the lottery,’ he said.

‘She will be able to walk to the library, able to walk to the exercise track, able to make phone calls.’

Paperny previously said that given the nature of her sex crimes Maxwell will not be able to follow in the footsteps of Martha Stewart and Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman and opt for a ‘minimum security camp’. 

Stewart spent five months in federal prison in Alderson, West Virginia, on charges of lying about the sale of stock.

Huffman spent 11 days behind bars in Dublin, California, last year after she was convicted of fraudulently getting her daughters into elite colleges.

Martha Stewart is seen in July 2004 after she was sentenced to five months for fraud

Martha Stewart is seen in July 2004 after she was sentenced to five months for fraud

A view of the Alderson prison in West Virginia, where Martha Stewart served her time in 2005

A view of the Alderson prison in West Virginia, where Martha Stewart served her time in 2005

Huffman is seen with her husband, actor William H. Macy, after being sentenced in September 2019

Huffman is seen with her husband, actor William H. Macy, after being sentenced in September 2019

Felicity Huffman served her sentence at the Dublin prison (pictured) in California

Felicity Huffman served her sentence at the Dublin prison (pictured) in California

Paperny said their prisons were nicknamed ‘Club Feds’ for their relaxed outlook. ‘Maxwell won’t be eligible for the County Club prison type place as hers was a sex crime, so she’ll be fenced in.’

After Epstein hanged himself while awaiting trial in 2019, attention turned to Maxwell who was arrested a year later and found guilty in December following her sensational trial.

She has said she will appeal her conviction and claims that she is being made a ‘scapegoat’ for Epstein.

Four women gave evidence against Maxwell during her weeks-long trial: a victim known as ‘Jane’, Annie Farmer, Kate and another woman called Carolyn.

Over three weeks, the jury heard how Maxwell ‘served up’ underage girls for Epstein and relished her role as the ‘Lady of the House’ at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.

Four women gave evidence against Maxwell during her trial: a victim known as 'Jane' (left) , Annie Farmer, Kate and another woman called Carolyn (right)

Four women gave evidence against Maxwell during her trial: a victim known as 'Jane' (left) , Annie Farmer, Kate and another woman called Carolyn (right)

Four women gave evidence against Maxwell during her trial: a victim known as ‘Jane’ (left) , Annie Farmer, Kate and another woman called Carolyn (right) 

Maxwell was sentenced today after being convicted of sex trafficking in December. The sentencing marks the end of a decades-long fight for justice by victims of her and Epstein

Maxwell was sentenced today after being convicted of sex trafficking in December. The sentencing marks the end of a decades-long fight for justice by victims of her and Epstein 

Annie Farmer is the only accuser to have her identity revealed. Prosecutors claims Maxwell encouraged her to massage Epstein

A witness using the pseudonym 'Kate' will read a victim impact statement

Two victims, Annie Farmer and the woman known only as ‘Kate’, read their testimony in person as they face down Maxwell 

Between 1994 and 2004 Maxwell was Epstein’s ‘right hand’ and paid $200 for sexualized massages or even took part in the abuse.

The victims, some as young as 14, were given a similar amount of money if they brought friends to Epstein, the jury was told.

During the trial, prosecutors called 24 witnesses to give jurors a picture of life inside Epstein’s homes – a subject of public fascination and speculation ever since his 2006 arrest in Florida in a child sex case.

A housekeeper testified he was expected to be ‘blind, deaf and dumb’ about the private lives of Epstein, a financier who cultivated friendships with influential politicians and business tycoons.

Pilots took the witness stand and dropped the names of luminaries – Britain’s Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump – who flew on Epstein’s private jets.

Jurors saw physical evidence like a folding massage table once used by Epstein and a ‘black book’ that listed contact information for some of the victims under the heading ‘massages’.

There were bank records showing he had transferred $30.7 million to Maxwell.

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