Ghislaine Maxwell must spend at least 30 years behind bars for her role in recruiting young girls for Jeffrey Epstein for sexual assault, prosecutors said in newly filed written arguments.
Federal prosecutors said Epstein’s former girlfriend and notorious right-hand man deserves a sentence of 30 to 55 years in prison for documents filed ahead of Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.
They said Maxwell, who was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other crimes, played a “useful role in the horrific sexual abuse of several teenage girls” between 1994 and 2004.
“As part of a disturbing deal with Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell identified, nurtured and abused several victims while she enjoyed a life of extraordinary luxury and privilege,” prosecutors wrote.
Last week, they ridiculed requests by Maxwell’s lawyers for a reduced sentence. Defense lawyers said the former British socialite deserved a prison sentence of no more than five years.
But prosecutors said Wednesday that Maxwell’s victims deserve justice to be denied an adequate prison sentence under federal sentencing rules that recommend 24 to 30 years.
“Following her footsteps, Maxwell left her victims with indelible scars of emotional and psychological trauma,” prosecutors wrote. “This damage cannot be repaired, but it can be taken into account when a fair verdict is given for Maxwell’s crimes.”
They called defense lawyers’ allegations that Maxwell, 60, being punished as a confidant of Epstein, who committed suicide while awaiting trial in 2019, in his absence “absurd and offensive.”
Prosecutors said Epstein’s ex-girlfriend did not take “even the hint of taking responsibility,” instead placing blame wherever possible.
Last week, Maxwell’s lawyers blamed alleged childhood trauma and abuse she suffered at the hands of her father as the reason she was vulnerable to Epstein’s grasp.
“Maxwell was an adult who made her own choice,” prosecutors said in response. “She has made a choice in favor of the sexual exploitation of many underage girls. She made the choice to collude with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and inflicting devastating harm on vulnerable victims.”
Prosecutors said she also showed a “total lack of remorse” for knowingly sending young girls to be sexually assaulted.
They also dismissed defense counsel’s claims that Maxwell deserved leniency because she endured worse imprisonment than normal pre-trial detainees, including numerous death threats.
“The accused enjoyed the remarkable privileges of a high-ranking prisoner, which far exceed those afforded to the average prisoner,” prosecutors said in their written submissions.
“It is not surprising that a woman who has led an incredible life of luxury complains about her life in prison, but this fact does not come close to meriting the leniency of sentencing, let alone the extreme degree of leniency that the defendant seeks.”
With mail wires