A victim of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell broke down in tears Tuesday as she described how the pair’s “dungeon of sexual hell” pushed her into years of emotional torment and two suicide attempts.
Sarah Ransome, 37, said she spent months treated like a “sex toy” and was driven to try to escape Epstein’s island on one visit by jumping off a cliff “into shark-infested waters.”
“Soon after lulling me and others into a false sense of comfort and security, they pounced, ensnaring us in their upside-down, twisted world of rape, rape and more rape,” Ransome said in a victim’s impact statement at Maxwell’s sentencing in a New York federal court.
“Like Hotel California, you could check into the Epstein-Maxwell dungeon of sexual hell, but you could never leave.”
Ransome described Maxwell, the disgraced British socialite who was Epstein’s former lover and sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday, as the “five-star general” of an Epstein-led sex trafficking conspiracy. She described Maxwell “as the same woman” she was when they met almost 20 years ago.
“After all of this, how can the five star general of this enormous sex trafficking conspiracy involving so many co-conspirators that snared 100’s if not 1,000s of vulnerable girls and young women over three decades continue to maintain her innocence?” Ransom told the court.
“Because of her wealth, social status, and connections, she believes herself beyond reproach and above the law. Sentencing her to the rest of her life in prison will not change her, but it will give other survivors and I a slight sense of justice and help us as we continue to work to recover from the sex-trafficking hell she perpetrated.”
Ransome broke down as she said the pair told her she was “exceptionally intelligent” and had the potential to be someone in life.
“I frequently experience flashbacks and wake up in a cold sweat from nightmares reliving the awful experience,” Ransome said.
“I am hypervigilant, experience dramatic mood changes, and avoid certain places, situations and people. I will sometimes start crying uncontrollably and without apparent reason. I have worked hard with several mental health professionals who have diagnosed me with extreme symptoms of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, PTSD, and tendencies to self-harm.”
She also revealed that she twice attempted to kill herself and it is “only by the grace of God” that she continues to live.