Federal prosecutors in Manhattan, writing that Ghislaine Maxwell had made the selection to conspire with Jeffrey Epstein for years, “working as companions in crime and inflicting devastating hurt to weak victims,” requested a decide on Wednesday evening to condemn her to no less than 30 years in jail.
Ms. Maxwell, 60, is to be sentenced on Tuesday in Federal District Court docket in Manhattan. If the decide follows the federal government’s advice, she may spend a lot of the remainder of her life in jail.
Ms. Maxwell was convicted on Dec. 29 on 5 of the six counts she confronted, together with intercourse trafficking, after a monthlong trial during which witnesses testified that she helped Mr. Epstein recruit, groom and abuse underage ladies.
Ms. Maxwell’s attorneys, in a quick final week, requested the decide, Alison J. Nathan, to impose a sentence under the 20 years really useful by the courtroom’s probation division. The attorneys recommended that the federal government had determined to prosecute Ms. Maxwell after Mr. Epstein’s jailhouse suicide in 2019 to appease his victims and “restore the tarnished reputations” of the Justice Division and the Bureau of Prisons, in whose custody the disgraced financier died.
The protection additionally recommended that blame for Ms. Maxwell’s conduct lay with Mr. Epstein and her father, the late British media magnate Robert Maxwell, who they mentioned was a merciless and intimidating mum or dad.
The federal government, in its letter on Wednesday to Choose Nathan, dismissed these claims, asserting that if something stood out from Ms. Maxwell’s sentencing submission, it was her failure to handle her prison conduct and her “utter lack of regret.”
“As a substitute of exhibiting even a touch of acceptance of accountability,” the workplace of Damian Williams, the U.S. legal professional for the Southern District of New York, wrote, “the defendant makes a determined try and forged blame wherever else she will.”
The prosecutors mentioned Ms. Maxwell’s try “to forged aspersions on the federal government for prosecuting her, and her declare that she is being held answerable for Epstein’s crimes, are each absurd and offensive.”
“Maxwell was an grownup who made her personal selections,” the federal government added. “She made the selection to sexually exploit quite a few underage ladies.”
Ms. Maxwell’s trial centered totally on occasions from 1994 to 2004, a interval when she and Mr. Epstein recruited ladies for him to abuse, prosecutors charged. The federal government offered its case over 10 days, via 24 witnesses. They included 4 ladies, all now adults, whose instances have been on the middle of the indictment.
Two of the ladies testified that Mr. Epstein started participating in intercourse with them after they have been solely 14. Ms. Maxwell was typically current within the encounters, one girl testified; the opposite mentioned Ms. Maxwell had immediately molested her by touching her breasts.
Within the authorities’s sentencing transient, prosecutors mentioned Mr. Epstein couldn’t have dedicated his crimes with out Ms. Maxwell, who offered a “cowl of respectability to Epstein that lulled the victims and their households right into a false sense of safety.”
Certainly, the federal government mentioned, Ms. Maxwell labored with Mr. Epstein to pick out victims who she knew have been weak to exploitation — ladies from households struggling to make ends meet, the daughters of single-mother households, the kid of a drug addict.
“Maxwell’s conduct was shockingly predatory,” the prosecutors mentioned.
Cash was additionally a key theme underlying her prison conduct, in response to the federal government transient. Her entry to wealth, the prosecutors wrote, enabled Ms. Maxwell to current herself “as a supposedly respectable member of society, who rubbed shoulders with royalty, presidents and celebrities.”
“That very same wealth dazzled the ladies from struggling households who grew to become the defendant and Epstein’s victims,” the prosecutors mentioned.
The memo mentioned it was troublesome to seize in phrases the hurt Ms. Maxwell brought on her victims.
“They have been youngsters who skilled what can solely be described as a recurring nightmare: time and again, they discovered themselves alone with Maxwell and Epstein in terrifying mansions the place they have been sexually abused and bodily violated,” the prosecutors wrote.
Mr. Epstein, 66, was discovered useless in his cell in August 2019, a month after he was arrested on sex-trafficking expenses. An indictment accused him of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage ladies at his property in Palm Seashore, Fla., his mansion in Manhattan and different places. He had additionally paid a few of his victims to recruit further ladies to be abused, sustaining “a gentle provide of latest victims,” the indictment mentioned.
Ms. Maxwell was arrested in July 2020 in New Hampshire, the place, the authorities mentioned, she was hiding. She was dropped at New York and has been held with out bail ever since.
Ms. Maxwell’s attorneys argued final week of their submission to the decide that she deserved leniency for enduring excessive jail situations since her arrest. For 22 months, her attorneys mentioned, she was locked in a small isolation cell and was monitored continuously by video cameras.
However the prosecutors mentioned her complaints solely highlighted “the huge gulf” between the situations of her confinement and her “lived expertise,” which they depicted as one in all “extraordinary privilege,” an opulent life-style of mansions, cooks on workers and personal planes.
“It’s no marvel, then, that she discovered jail jarring,” the prosecutors wrote. “Going from being waited readily available and foot to incarceration is undoubtedly a stunning and unsightly expertise.”