Prosecutors Demand Up to 55 Years in Prison for Epstein's Accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell
12:12 GMT 23.06.2022 (Updated: 15:19 GMT 28.05.2023)
The British socialite was convicted in December 2021 on numerous offences related to her trafficking underage girls for the late financier Jeffery Epstein over at least a decade. The financier himself committed a suicide in jail before he could be tried.
The prosecutors in the case of former UK socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, accomplice of the late financier Jeffery Epstein, have asked the Manhattan federal court judge in written arguments sentence her to a prison term
of between 30 and 55 years. They argued that Maxwell played a key role in trafficking underage girls for Epstein and their subsequent "horrific sexual abuse", and that she must be justly punished for her "monstrous" crimes.
"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," the prosecutors said.
The prosecutors also appealed to the judge to ignore Maxwell's pleas for leniency on the grounds that she suffered from her stay in jail as her trial proceeded. The defense earlier argued that the socialite suffered from stress induced by harsh conditions and death threats, and started losing weight and hair as a result.
Maxwell's lawyers asked the judge to give their client a term of four years and three months in jail as she faces a maximum of 55 years according to the law. The defense argued that prosecutors seek to use the socialite as a "scapegoat" based on her being a proxy to Epstein's crimes.
The financier himself, who had been suspected of building a sex trafficking scheme for underage girls, possibly not just for himself, but also for unknown clients, committed suicide in prison while he was awaiting trial.
The defense of the UK socialite also appealed to the judge to show lenience for Maxwell on the grounds that she was not just an "heiress"
or "villain", but also engaged in numerous charitable initiatives that showed she had a "desire to do good in the world".
"Ms. Maxwell has always worked hard. Her many educational, occupational, and avocational accomplishments include […] partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to establish a telemedicine platform to enable people in remote areas to obtain quality medical treatment; helping develop the Clinton Global Initiative; and supporting a variety non-profit and charitable organizations," her lawyers argued.
Maxwell was found guilty in December 2021 on several counts of sex trafficking a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, as well as three counts of conspiracy related to these activities. Four women testified in court saying that they were abused when they were still underage and that the British socialite had had a hand in that.
Despite Epstein being first convicted on a sexual offence charge back in 2008, Maxwell's name did not appear in court documents until 2015 when one of their victims, Virginia Giuffre, filed a lawsuit. Giuffre and several other women accused the pair of trafficking, grooming and sexually abusing them as minors.
While Epstein avoided a lengthy sentence back in 2008, the sex trafficking charges filed against him in 2019 were much more serious. He was arrested on July 6, 2019 and already on July 23, he attempted suicide and was found unconscious with marks around his neck. He was placed on suicide watch, but two weeks after was unexplainably removed from it, leading to the second suicide attempt on August 29, which was successful.
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