British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has reportedly filed an appeal against her conviction and sentence, according to reports.
The Press Association first reported she had filed the appeal, citing court documents.
Maxwell was convicted on federal sex trafficking charges in New York last December after a trial lasting almost a month. Following five full days of deliberations, a jury found her guilty on five of the six counts, including luring underage girls to engage in sex acts with her close friend and one-time partner financier Jeffrey Epstein.
On the charge of enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts she was found not guilty, however.
Maxwell faced up to 65 years in prison but was sentenced to 20 years just over a week ago.
Epstein was found dead in his cell while awaiting similar charges in August 2019.
According to the New York Times, while sentencing Maxwell last month, Judge Alison J. Nathan said: “I find that the defendant’s criminal activity was extensive” and called the crimes “heinous and predatory.”
“It is important to emphasize that although Epstein was central to this criminal scheme, Ms. Maxwell is not being punished in place of Epstein or as a proxy for Epstein,” she added.
In a memo to the court ahead of her sentencing, Maxwell suggested she was herself a victim of Epstein, claiming a troubled childhood had made her vulnerable to the convicted pedophile. Maxwell’s father, publishing baron Robert Maxwell, died in mysterious circumstances in 1991 after he was found floating in the Atlantic ocean, ostensibly having fallen from his boat, which was named the Lady Ghislaine.
“I believe that Jeffrey Epstein was a manipulative, cunning and controlling man who lived a profoundly compartmentalized life and fooled all of those in his orbit,” Maxwell told the judge.
Although Maxwell has made no comment publicly, the story of a privileged socialite who found herself recruiting underage women at the behest of a powerful and perverted financier has captivated the media, with numerous documentaries commissioned about Maxwell.