Prosecutors urge Ghislaine Maxwell to spend at least 30 years in prison

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan, writing that Ghislaine Maxwell had made the choice to conspire with Jeffrey Epstein for years, “working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims,” ​​asked a judge Wednesday night to sentence her to at least 30 years. in prision.

Mrs. Maxwell, 60, is due to be sentenced on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan. If the judge follows the government’s recommendation, she could spend much of the rest of her life in prison.

Maxwell was convicted Dec. 29 on five of six counts she faced, including sex trafficking, after a month-long trial in which witnesses testified that she helped Epstein recruit, groom and abuse underage girls.

Maxwell’s lawyers, in a briefing last week, asked Judge Alison J. Nathan to impose a sentence shorter than the 20 years the court’s parole department had recommended. Lawyers suggested the government decided to sue Maxwell after Epstein’s suicide in jail in 2019 to appease his victims and “repair the tarnished reputation” of the Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons, in whose custody the disgraced financier died.

The defense also suggested that Maxwell’s conduct was to blame for two men who have since died: Epstein and his cruel and intimidating father, British media mogul Robert Maxwell, who died in 1991.

The government, in its letter on Wednesday to Judge Nathan, rejected these allegations, stating that if anything stood out in the delivery of Maxwell’s sentence, it was his failure to address his criminal conduct and his “total lack of remorse.”

“Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility,” wrote the office of Damian Williams, attorney for the Southern District of New York, “the defendant makes a desperate attempt to blame wherever he can.”

Prosecutors said Maxwell’s attempt “to slander the government for prosecuting her and her claim that she is being held accountable for Epstein’s crimes are absurd and offensive.”

“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices,” the government added. “She made the choice to sexually exploit several underage girls.”

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