Federal prosecutors on Wednesday said the court should consider a 30 to 55 year sentence for socialite Ghislaine Maxwell who was convicted of sex trafficking young girls to her long-time associate and one-time boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.
“Ghislaine Maxwell played an instrumental role in the horrific sexual abuse of multiple young teenage girls. As part of a disturbing agreement with Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell identified, groomed, and abused multiple victims, while she enjoyed a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege,” prosecutors said in court documents filed on Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Maxwell deserved a 30 to 55 year sentence because of the many years she participated in Epstein’s sexual abuse of minors, reflecting federal sentencing guidelines.
The court should also consider the harm to the victims and the British socialite’s history and characteristics, according to their filings.
“In her wake, Maxwell left her victims permanently scarred with emotional and psychological injuries. That damage can never be undone, but it can be accounted for in crafting a just sentence for Maxwell’s crimes,” prosecutors said.
Maxwell ‘Made Her Own Choices’
Lawyers for Maxwell have asked for a sentence of no more than five years and three months in prison, arguing that she is being used as a scapegoat for Epstein, Fox News reported. Epstein was found to have killed himself while in jail in New York in 2019.
Prosecutors said Maxwell did not deserve leniency in sentencing over her complaints about prison conditions during her pre-trial detention.
“The defendant’s claims are inaccurate—and in fact, the defendant has enjoyed remarkable privileges as a high-profile inmate that vastly exceed the benefits accorded to the average inmate,” prosecutor’s said.
“It is unsurprising that a woman who had led a life of incredible luxury should complain about her life as a prisoner, but that fact does not come close to meriting leniency at sentencing, much less the extraordinary degree of leniency the defendant seeks.”
They also said that in her sentencing submission, Maxwell had shown no remorse but instead sought to blame everyone but herself.
“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices. She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls,” prosecutors said.
“She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims. She should be held accountable for her disturbing role in an extensive child exploitation scheme.”
In court papers filed on June 15, attorneys for Maxwell claimed she deserved leniency because, while she facilitated Epstein’s abuse, it was the late financier who was “the mastermind” and “principle abuser.”
“Epstein avoided a significant sentence when he was first prosecuted in Florida for these offenses and then evaded any further punishment by dying a month after his arrest and detention in New York,” Maxwell’s attorneys wrote.
“But this Court cannot sentence Ms. Maxwell as if she were a proxy for Epstein simply because Epstein is no longer here. Ms. Maxwell cannot and should not bear all the punishment for which Epstein should have been held responsible.”
Maxwell is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28 by U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan.