Ghislaine Maxwell to serve at least 30 years in prison for her ‘monstrous’ crimes, prosecutors say | US news

Ghislaine Maxwell faces at least 30 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of teenagers, US prosecutors said ahead of a sentencing hearing.

In further court proceedings, the British socialite’s conduct was described as “shockingly predatory” – and her crimes were deemed “monstrous”.

Maxwell was convicted in December of recruiting teenagers to US financier Jeffrey Epstein for sexual abuse from 1994 to 2004 – and a judge is due to sentence the 60-year-old man next Tuesday.

Her lawyers have already argued that she must not serve more than four or five years in prisonand claim that she has faced onerous and punitive prison conditions since her arrest in July 2020.

Maxwell’s representatives allege that she received death threats while behind bars, with the harsh environment causing her to lose hair and weight.

But giving their recommendations to the judge, prosecutors said the complaints of poor confinement conditions were not grounds for a lighter sentence – adding that she “enjoyed remarkable privileges as a high-ranking prisoner”.

They wrote: “The transition from being expected on foot and by hand to incarceration is, without a doubt, a shocking and unpleasant experience.”

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Federal sentencing guidelines state that Maxwell should serve between 30 and 55 years in prison.

Prosecutors wrote: “As part of a disturbing settlement with Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell identified, groomed and abused multiple victims as she enjoyed a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege.

“In his wake, Maxwell left his victims permanently scarred by emotional and psychological damage. That damage can never be undone, but it can be explained in crafting a fair sentence for Maxwell’s crimes.”

Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein
Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein

The judge was also urged to take into account his “total lack of remorse”, and the document added: “Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to blame wherever he can.”

Maxwell’s lawyers argued that she was being used as a scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes, but this was deemed “absurd and offensive” by prosecutors.

Responding that she was an adult who made her own choices, they wrote, “She chose to sexually exploit several underage girls. She chose to conspire with Epstein for years, working as a partner in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims.”

Epstein killed himself in 2019, aged 66, in a Manhattan cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell’s trial was widely seen as the reckoning Epstein never had – and in often powerful and explicit testimony, four women said the socialite was a central figure in their years of abuse.

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