USA Updates Ghislaine Maxwell deserves at least 30 years behind bars, prosecutors say
Ghislaine Maxwell should spend at least 30 years behind bars for her role in recruiting young girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, prosecutors said in newly filed written arguments.
Federal prosecutors said the former gal pal and notorious right-hand woman of Epstein deserves a sentence between 30 and 55 years in prison in paperwork filed ahead of her sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
They said Maxwell — who was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other crimes — played an “instrumental role in the horrific sexual abuse of multiple young teenage girls” between 1994 and 2004.
“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,” the prosecutors wrote.
They scoffed at Maxwell’s lawyers’ pleas for a lighter sentence last week. The defense attorneys had said the former British socialite deserves to serve no more than five years in prison.
But prosecutors argued Wednesday that Maxwell’s victims deserve to see justice withheld through an adequate prison sentence in accordance with federal sentencing guidelines — which recommend about 24 to 30 years.
“In her wake, Maxwell left her victims permanently scarred with emotional and psychological injuries,” the prosecutors wrote. “That damage can never be undone, but it can be accounted for in crafting a just sentence for Maxwell’s crimes.”
They called the defense lawyers’ claims that Maxwell, 60, is being punished as a proxy for Epstein — who killed himself while awaiting trial in 2019 — in his absence “absurd and offensive.”
The prosecutors said the one-time girlfriend of Epstein hasn’t taken “even a hint of acceptance of responsibility,” instead casting blame wherever possible.
Last week, Maxwell’s lawyers blamed the alleged childhood trauma and abuse she suffered at the hands of her father as the reason she was vulnerable to Epstein’s grip.
“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices,” prosecutors said in response. “She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls. She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims.”
The prosecutors said she has further shown an “utter lack of remorse” for knowingly sending young girls to be sexually abused.
They also dismissed defense attorney’s claims that Maxwell deserves leniency because she has suffered a worse imprisonment than typical pretrial detainees — including multiple death threats.
“The defendant has enjoyed remarkable privileges as a high-profile inmate that vastly exceeds the benefits accorded to the average inmate,” prosecutors said in their written arguments.
“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.”