Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to hand down a 30 to 55-year prison sentence to socialite Ghislaine Maxwell for her involvement in sex trafficking and abusing minors with financier Jeffrey Epstein.
On Wednesday, prosecutors filed a memorandum in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York calling Maxwell a “calculating, sophisticated, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse.”
“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices. She made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls. She made the choice to conspire with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and causing devastating harm to vulnerable victims,” prosecutors wrote in the memo.
“She should be held accountable for her disturbing role in an extensive child exploitation scheme.”
In December, Maxwell was found guilty of five federal charges, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of conspiracy.
While the probation department has recommended a 20-year sentence, Maxwell’s attorneys are asking for a 4.25 to 5.25-year sentence due to her rough childhood, which they claimed made her vulnerable to being manipulated by Epstein.
“The lenient sentence the defendant seeks would send the message that there is one system of laws for the rich and powerful, and another set for everyone else,” prosecutors wrote in the memo.
Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges of prostitution in 2008 and was later indicted in July 2019 on federal sex trafficking charges. He killed himself in his jail cell the following month.
“As part of a disturbing agreement with Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell identified, groomed, and abused multiple victims, while she enjoyed a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege,” prosecutors wrote.
“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.”
Prosecutors are also requesting that the socialite pay the maximum total allowable fine of $750,000. Maxwell is expected to be sentenced on June 28.