Ghislaine Maxwell Could Get 55 Years in Prison

She wants 5 years; prosecutors say her claim of being a scapecoat is 'absurd and offensive'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2022 8:02 AM CDT
Maxwell Wants 5 Years in Prison. Prosecutors Want Up to 55
In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell enters the courtroom escorted by US Marshalls at the start of her trial, Nov. 29, 2021, in New York.   (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams, File)

The "shockingly predatory" Ghislaine Maxwell should be sentenced to 30 years up to the maximum 55 years for helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse four teenage girls over a decade, federal prosecutors write in a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. The 60-year-old played an "instrumental role in the horrific sexual abuse of multiple young teenage girls" and "instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can," it reads, per NBC News. Maxwell had faced up to 65 years before the judge put aside two overlapping guilty verdicts in April, per Reuters.

The US Probation Office proposed 20 years for Maxwell, who is to be sentenced Tuesday on federal sex trafficking charges. But prosecutors said that recommendation ignored two additional victims whose abuse was described at trial, per Reuters. Maxwell's lawyers instead argued last week that the daughter of late British media magnate Robert Maxwell should serve no more than 5 years and 3 months in prison. They said she was a scapegoat for Epstein, who "orchestrated the crimes for his personal gratification" before committing suicide in a Manhattan jail in 2019 while awaiting trial, per ABC News. Prosecutors say that claim is "both absurd and offensive."

They also show no sympathy for the British socialite's complaints about "meager, stale, often rancid" food and long periods of isolation inside Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, where she's been held since July 2020, per the BBC. "Going from being waited on hand and foot to incarceration is undoubtedly a shocking and unpleasant experience," but no reason for a lighter sentence, prosecutors write, adding Maxwell "has enjoyed remarkable privileges as a high-profile inmate." Prosecutors also recommend the maximum allowable fine of $750,000. Maxwell informed the court that she has $22 million in assets—almost all gifted to her by Epstein, prosecutors say, per ABC. (Maxwell hopes to be moved to the UK.)

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