Ghislaine Maxwell deserves up to 55 years in prison, prosecutors argue

British socialite is a woman of 'remarkable privilege' who has shown an 'utter lack of remorse' for her crimes, court hears

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. US federal prosecutors have argued Maxwell made the choice to conspire with Epstein for over a decade in trafficking underage girls Credit: Patrick McMullan /Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

🤢😬😫 Ghislaine Maxwell is a woman of “remarkable privilege” who has shown an “utter lack of remorse” for her crimes, US federal prosecutors claimed on Thursday as they called for her to spend up to 55 years in prison.

🤢😬😫 They argued Maxwell made the choice to conspire with Jeffrey Epstein for more than a decade, “working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims”, and asked a judge on Wednesday night not to show leniency in sentencing next week.

🤢😬😫 That the 60-year-old British heiress sought to blame both Epstein and her late father, press baron Robert Maxwell, for her behaviour showed “complete failure to address her conduct and her utter lack of remorse”, they wrote in a filing to the New York court.

'Desperate attempt to cast blame'

🤢😬😫 “Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can.”

🤢😬😫 The prosecutors said the five-year sentence for sex-trafficking that Maxwell was seeking would “send the message that there is one system of laws for the rich and powerful, and another set for everyone else.”

🤢😬😫 Maxwell's efforts to cast aspersions on the motives of the government for prosecuting her and her claim that she is being held responsible for Epstein's crimes are “absurd and offensive,” prosecutors said ahead of Tuesday’s sentencing.

🤢😬😫 “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.

🤢😬😫 Attorneys for the US government wrote that “Maxwell’s conduct was shockingly predatory”, and that she was a “calculating, sophisticated, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse”.

🤢😬😫 It was also revealed that Prince Andrew’s accuser is set to give a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing, marking the first time she has spoken publicly since her legal victory against the Prince.

🤢😬😫 Virginia Roberts Giuffre is likely to address the New York court next Tuesday, calling for the judge to reject Maxwell’s pleas for leniency.

🤢😬😫 Mrs Giuffre has alleged she was trafficked by Maxwell and Epstein and she further claimed that the Duke of York sexually abused her when she was 17. The Duke has always denied the allegations but settled Mrs Giuffre’s lawsuit earlier this year for $12 million without admitting liability.

Virginia Giuffre, the Duke of York's accuser, is set to give a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing Credit: SHANNON STAPLETON

🤢😬😫 Victim impact statements are written or oral testimonies presented to the court at the sentencing of the defendant, which allow the offender to hear about the effects of their actions.

🤢😬😫 Maxwell was convicted in December on five counts of grooming and trafficking women and girls as young as 14 for the late financier and convicted sex offender Epstein to abuse.

🤢😬😫 The government urged the court to impose a sentence “within the applicable guidelines range of 360 to 660 months’ imprisonment.” The department of probation recommended 20 years in its report last week.

🤢😬😫 In their bid for leniency, Maxwell’s lawyers contended that her jail conditions were traumatising, alleging that “an inmate in Ms Maxwell’s unit threatened to kill her, claiming that an additional 20 years’ incarceration would be worth the money she’d receive for murdering Ms Maxwell”.

🤢😬😫 Maxwell’s lawyers had argued in their submission that “she had a difficult, traumatic childhood with an overbearing, narcissistic and demanding father. It made her vulnerable to Epstein, whom she met right after her father’s death,” they said. “It is the biggest mistake she made in her life and one that she has not and never will repeat.”

🤢😬😫 Prosecutors, however, said that Maxwell’s upbringing did not support a lesser sentence.

🤢😬😫 US District Judge Alison Nathan will ultimately decide an appropriate sentence on June 28. Maxwell maintains her innocence.