Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell are pleading for a leniency for the disgraced socialite who claims she was abused as a child and faced constant death threats inside a Brooklyn lockup.
Lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious henchman filed paperwork in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, asking the judge to consider “well below” the 20-year prison sentence recommended by the probation department in his case.
He said Maxwell – who was convicted of sex trafficking in December – should not bear the brunt of the sentence awarded to Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial.
,[T]His court cannot sentence Ms Maxwell as if she were a proxy for Epstein, because Epstein is no longer here,” he wrote in the 77-page document. “It would be a mockery of justice to face a punishment that would be appropriate for Epstein.”
Maxwell, who was convicted of recruiting young girls to sexually assault young girls for Epstein from 1994 to 2004, is to be sentenced on June 28.
Her lawyers said she allegedly suffered abuse as a child at the hands of her father, leaving her vulnerable to Epstein’s influence.
“He had a difficult, painful childhood characterized by a domineering, narcissistic and demanding
Father, ”said the lawyers. “It made her vulnerable to Epstein, whom she met right after her father’s death.”
In one instance when Maxwell was 13 years old, his father allegedly hit his dominant hand with a hammer—leaving him bruised and painful for weeks—when he became infuriated that he hit his freshly painted bedroom wall. But a poster has been put up, claim the lawyers.
The lawyers also asked for a lighter sentence on the grounds that Maxwell faced more imprisonment than typical pre-trial detainees, with “more difficult and punitive conditions”.
“Her life has been ruined,” he wrote.
Maxwell spent nearly two years in solitary confinement before being transferred to the general population of Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center last month.
Lawyers claimed that he had also received death threats several times during his stay in jail.
Recently, a fellow inmate in her unit threatened to kill her, “claiming that the money she received for killing Ms. Maxwell would result in an additional 20 years in prison,” according to the paperwork.
Lawyers said Maxwell has been a law-abiding citizen who contributes to society – outside of the time he spent with Epstein.
“Ghislaine Maxwell is not a heiress, a villain or a vulgar socialite,” he said. “She has worked hard her entire life. She has energy, drive, commitment, a strong work ethic and a desire to do good in the world.”