Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyers Claim Her Sentence Should Be ‘Well Below’ 20 Years in Prison
08:21 GMT 16.06.2022 (Updated: 08:24 GMT 16.06.2022)
Ghislaine Maxwell faces 240 months behind bars for recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by the late billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein between 1994 and 2004. She has plead not guilty to the sex trafficking charges.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers have insisted that the embattled 60-year-old British socialite
should be sentenced to “well below” the 20 years imprisonment that probation authorities recommended in her New York federal sex-trafficking case.
In a pre-sentencing memorandum filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, the lawyers argued that Maxwell “cannot and should not bear all the punishment for which [the late billionaire financier Jeffrey] Epstein should have been held responsible”.
The attorneys wrote that “this Court cannot sentence Ms Maxwell as if she were a proxy for Epstein simply because Epstein is no longer here”.
According to them, the 60-year-old had already “experienced a hard time during detention under conditions far more onerous and punitive than any experienced by a typical pretrial detainee, and she is preparing to spend significantly more time behind bars”.
Arguing that Maxwell’s life “has been ruined”, the lawyers described the disgraced British socialite as a person who is “not a dangerous criminal or a habitual offender”.
“She is someone who wants nothing more than to live a normal family life – something she was denied because of her association with Epstein and will now almost certainly never have. The public does not need to be protected from Ms Maxwell and such considerations should have no weight in determining her sentence,” they pointed out.
The attorneys also alleged that one of the female inmates in the 60-year-old’s cell block “told at least three other inmates that she had been offered money to murder Maxwell and that she [the female inmate] planned to strangle her in her sleep”.
Additionally, the lawyers cited Maxwell as claiming that her now-late father, publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, was abusive toward her when she was 13.
“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. It is the biggest mistake she made in her life and one that she has not and never will repeat,” they wrote.
Maxwell was detained on 2 July 2020 on federal charges related to her procuring young girls for Epstein, who committed suicide in a New York detention centre while awaiting trial in August 2019 for illegal sex acts and lying to US federal investigators, according to the official version. The cause of his death, however, remains disputed amid conspiracy theories
speculating over whether he was murdered to prevent him from testifying against his high-profile friends, including Prince Andrew, as well as former US Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
On 29 December 2021, Maxwell, who insists on her innocence, was found guilty of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein between 1994 and 2004 at his various properties. She is scheduled to be sentenced on 28 June and faces up to 55 years behind bars.
The US probation department, which makes sentencing recommendations, however, has suggested a punishment of 240 months imprisonment for Maxwell, whose sentence is ultimately up to the judge.