Federal prosecutors want Ghislaine Maxwell locked up for at least 30 years over her participation in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operation that involved underage girls.
Maxwell’s attorneys have argued for a sentence of four years behind bars, citing her involvement with the Clinton Global Initiative as one reason why she merits a light sentence.
Maxwell was convicted in December last year of five counts related to luring teenage girls and women into sexual exploitation.
The U.S. Probation Office had recommended Maxwell be jailed for 20 years, according to Reuters. Federal Judge Alison J. Nathan will determine Maxwell’s sentence, which is to be announced on Tuesday.
In written arguments, prosecutors homed in on what they described as Maxwell’s “utter lack of remorse,” according to The New York Times.
“Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can,” the filing stated.
Maxwell’s attempt “to cast aspersions on the government for prosecuting her, and her claim that she is being held responsible for Epstein’s crimes, are both absurd and offensive,” prosecutors wrote.
“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices,” the filing stated, according to the Times. “She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls.”
Prosecutors wrote that the girls who were trafficked, “were children who experienced what can only be described as a recurring nightmare: again and again, they found themselves alone with Maxwell and Epstein in terrifying mansions where they were sexually abused and physically violated.”
The filing argued that Maxwell deserves a long sentence.
“Ghislaine Maxwell sexually exploited young girls for years. It is difficult to overstate the magnitude of her crimes and the harm she caused. Her crimes demand justice,” prosecutors wrote, according to the U.K. Guardian. “The government urges the court to impose a sentence within the applicable guidelines range of 360 to 660 months’ imprisonment.”
The filing was scathing in its description of Maxwell’s actions.
“Maxwell’s conduct was shockingly predatory,” prosecutors wrote, according to the Guardian. “She was a calculating, sophisticated, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse.
“Not only did her conduct exhibit a callous disregard for other human beings, but her practice of targeting vulnerable victims reflects her view that struggling young girls could be treated like disposable objects,” the document said.
In their argument for a long sentence, prosecutors rejected a contention by Maxwell’s defense that she was manipulated by Epstein.
“[T]he defendant acted as an organizer and leader of a massive operation that spanned many years,” the filing stated, according to the Guardian.
“In operating as the lady of the house and as Epstein’s right hand, the defendant was responsible for overseeing and organizing extensive logistics involved in facilitating the sexual abuse of multiple minors and ensuring a culture of silence that prevented that scheme from being uncovered,” prosecutors wrote.
“Epstein and the defendant were two knowing participants who took the lead in identifying, enticing, and grooming minor girls to be abused.”
Maxwell, a 60-year-old born in the United Kingdom but a naturalized U.S. citizen, cited her connections to former President Bill Clinton in a 77-page court filing seeking a more lenient sentence, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
The filing argued that prosecutors were “scapegoating” Maxwell and treating her as a “proxy” for Epstein’s crimes.
Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in 2019 after being arrested on sex trafficking charges but never went to trial. His death was officially ruled a suicide.
The filing further argued that Maxwell demonstrated a “desire to do good in the world” because she helped kickstart the Clinton Global Initiative, the Daily Mail reported.
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