Significant Prison Sentences for Sex Abuse

 

Sexual abuse is far more prevalent than once recognized. For years, there have been famous and wealthy individuals who have used their influence to discredit and silence those they have sexually assaulted and abused. However, recently, more and more of these survivors have come forward asking that their abusers be held accountable. In some cases, these efforts have resulted in the responsible parties receiving significant prison sentences for sex abuse.

 

Documentaries and news stories have helped draw attention to sexual abuse offenses committed by powerful individuals. For instance, the Netflix docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” and the Starz network’s “Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?” have helped shed light on the extensive abuse these individuals inflicted on their victims. Recently, both R. Kelly and Ghislaine Maxwell were sentenced for their egregious criminal acts.

 

Ghislaine Maxwell Sentencing

 

In late June 2022, disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a New York federal district judge for sex trafficking young girls and women. For a decade, Maxwell assisted financier Jeffrey Epstein in running a sex trafficking operation estimated to have had over one hundred victims.

 

In late 2021, a New York federal jury found Maxwell guilty of trafficking a minor and several other related offenses. During the trial, several of Epstein’s and Maxwell’s victims testified and provided details of the horrendous abuse they suffered and how both perpetrators used their wealth, power, and influence to prevent them from speaking out.

 

Eight of Maxwell’s victims provided victim impact statements to the court for the sentencing hearing, and six were permitted to testify. The survivors described the effect Maxwell’s conduct had on them and their lives. As one survivor, Juliette Bryant, wrote in her statement, “Simply put, Ghislaine Maxwell is a monster.” Others talked about their emotional and psychological trauma and having to live in fear after escaping Maxwell and Epstein.

 

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

 

The People v. R. Kelly

 

In late June 2022, famous R&B musician R. Kelly was sentenced to thirty years by a New York federal district court for sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, bribery, and sex trafficking. New York by federal Judge Ann Donnelly commented that Kelly’s” case is not about sex. It is about violence, cruelty, and control.”

Earlier this year, a federal jury found that Kelly was the leader of a criminal conspiracy to recruit and coerce children and women into sex. Several of Kelly’s victims testified during the punishment hearing. Many of whom described having been abused when they were minors. During sentencing, Judge Donnelly made several statements to Kelly, including the following: “You had a system in place that lured young people into your orbit, and then you took over their lives. You taught them that love is enslavement and violence.” Kelly is scheduled to stand trial in August 2022 in Chicago on federal child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

 

As the Maxwell and Kelly cases indicate, sexual abuse can have life-long emotional injuries and consequences for survivors. Seeing courts impose significant sentences for sex abuse is a positive indication that more abusers are being held accountable for their actions.

Contact an Experienced Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney

Sexual abuse survivors often have pain and suffering and other significant emotional damages. Every survivor deserves to have the opportunity to hold their abusers accountable. If you’ve been the victim of rape, sexual abuse, or other sexual violence, you want an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse injury attorney on your side. Bonina & Bonina, PC understand the importance of helping sexual violence survivors get the help they need for their trauma. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se Habla Español.