Federal prosecutors in Manhattan, writing that Ghislaine Maxwell had made the selection to conspire with Jeffrey Epstein for years, “working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims,” requested a decide on Wednesday night time to condemn her to a minimum of 30 years in jail.
Ms. Maxwell, 60, is to be sentenced on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan. If the decide follows the federal government’s suggestion, she might 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 through which witnesses testified that she helped Mr. Epstein recruit, groom and abuse underage women.
Ms. Maxwell’s attorneys, in a brief last week, requested the decide, Alison J. Nathan, to impose a sentence beneath the 20 years really useful by the court docket’s probation division. The attorneys urged that the federal government had determined to prosecute Ms. Maxwell after Mr. Epstein’s jailhouse suicide in 2019 to appease his victims and “repair the tarnished reputations” of the Justice Department and the Bureau of Prisons, in whose custody the disgraced financier died.
The protection additionally urged 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 guardian.
The authorities, in its letter on Wednesday to Judge Nathan, dismissed these claims, asserting that if something stood out from Ms. Maxwell’s sentencing submission, it was her failure to handle her legal conduct and her “utter lack of remorse.”
“Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility,” the workplace of Damian Williams, the U.S. lawyer for the Southern District of New York, wrote, “the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can.”
The prosecutors mentioned Ms. Maxwell’s try “to cast aspersions on the government for prosecuting her, and her claim that she is being held responsible for Epstein’s crimes, are both absurd and offensive.”
“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices,” the federal government added. “She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls.”
Ms. Maxwell’s trial centered totally on occasions from 1994 to 2004, a interval when she and Mr. Epstein recruited women for him to abuse, prosecutors charged. The authorities introduced its case over 10 days, by way of 24 witnesses. They included 4 ladies, all now adults, whose instances have been on the heart of the indictment.
Two of the ladies testified that Mr. Epstein started partaking in intercourse with them after they have been solely 14. Ms. Maxwell was generally current within the encounters, one girl testified; the opposite mentioned Ms. Maxwell had immediately molested her by touching her breasts.
In the federal government’s sentencing temporary, prosecutors mentioned Mr. Epstein couldn’t have dedicated his crimes with out Ms. Maxwell, who supplied a “cover of respectability to Epstein that lulled the victims and their families into a false sense of security.”
Indeed, the federal government mentioned, Ms. Maxwell labored with Mr. Epstein to pick victims who she knew have been susceptible to exploitation — women 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.
Money was additionally a key theme underlying her legal conduct, based on the federal government temporary. 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 same wealth dazzled the girls from struggling families who became the defendant and Epstein’s victims,” the prosecutors mentioned.
The memo mentioned it was troublesome to seize in phrases the hurt Ms. Maxwell triggered her victims.
“They were children who experienced what can only be described as a recurring nightmare: again and again, they found themselves alone with Maxwell and Epstein in terrifying mansions where they were sexually abused and physically violated,” the prosecutors wrote.
Mr. Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell in August 2019, a month after he was arrested on sex-trafficking costs. An indictment accused him of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of underage women at his property in Palm Beach, Fla., his mansion in Manhattan and different areas. He had additionally paid a few of his victims to recruit extra women to be abused, sustaining “a steady supply of new 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 circumstances since her arrest. For 22 months, her attorneys mentioned, she was locked in a small isolation cell and was monitored always by video cameras.
But the prosecutors mentioned her complaints solely highlighted “the vast gulf” between the circumstances of her confinement and her “lived experience,” which they depicted as one in all “extraordinary privilege,” an opulent life-style of mansions, cooks on workers and personal planes.
“It is no wonder, then, that she found jail jarring,” the prosecutors wrote. “Going from being waited on hand and foot to incarceration is undoubtedly a shocking and unpleasant experience.”