Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Prosecutors say she should be sentenced to 30-55 years for sex crimes

By Brie Stimson

Federal prosecutors in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial said Wednesday the British socialite, convicted of helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse girls, should be sentenced to at least 30 to 55 years in prison, reflecting federal sentencing guidelines.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted of sex trafficking last December in a New York courtroom for grooming four girls to be abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004. "Her practice of targeting vulnerable victims reflects her view that struggling young girls could be treated like disposable objects," prosecutors said in their recommendation, calling her actions "monstrous" and "shockingly predatory."

Maxwell’s lawyers have called for no more than five years and three months in prison, saying the socialite is being used as a scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes. The financier killed himself while in custody in New York in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex crimes.

Prosecutors argued 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 wrote. "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."

Reflecting on complaints from Maxwell that she suffered from poor conditions while in confinement, prosecutors said she "enjoyed remarkable privileges as a high-profile inmate that vastly exceed the benefits accorded to the average inmate."

They added, "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."

Prosecutors further said that Maxwell hadn’t taken any responsibility for her crimes and had an "utter lack of remorse."  "Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices. 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," they said. Four women testified in her trial that she had been central in helping Epstein abuse them when they were teenagers and two other women not initially named in the indictment were also found to be victims during the trial, prosecutors said.  Maxwell will be sentenced next Tuesday.