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Feds call for Ghislaine Maxwell to be sentenced to 30 to 55 years for 'monstrous crimes'

Ben Wieder, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

Federal prosecutors recommended that Ghislaine Maxwell be sentenced to 30 to 55 years in prison, which would effectively be a life sentence for the 60-year-old former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein.

“The defendant stands convicted of sexually exploiting multiple underage girls,” prosecutors wrote in a filing last night. “Her crimes were monstrous, and the Court should impose a sentence that reflects her role in serious federal crimes.”

The filing comes ahead of Maxwell’s sentencing next Tuesday in New York.

Maxwell’s lawyers argued last week that she should be sentenced to far less time, stating she is being punished for the crimes of the deceased Epstein, has never been charged with a crime before and was held in “extraordinary punitive conditions of solitary confinement” while in federal custody since her arrest in July 2020. Prosecutors argued that Maxwell enjoyed extraordinary privileges while in custody and that her complaints merely reflected the shock of leaving a life of privilege.

“Going from being waited on hand and foot to incarceration is undoubtedly a shocking and unpleasant experience,” their filing said.

During her trial late last year, four victims testified about how Maxwell befriended them as teenagers — two as young as 14 — and groomed them to be abused by Epstein, the deceased financier who has been accused of abusing hundreds of girls.


One of the victims, testifying under the pseudonym Carolyn, said she was 14 when she met Maxwell and Epstein and recalled Maxwell telling her, “You’ve got a great body for Mr. Epstein and his friends.”

Maxwell was convicted of five of the six counts she faced, including sex trafficking of a minor, though U.S. Circuit Judge Alison J. Nathan, who presided over the trial, later threw out two of the five counts, finding that they were redundant.

In their sentencing submission, federal prosecutors also cited Maxwell’s crimes against longtime accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who said she was recruited by Maxwell as a teenager while working as a spa attendant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, and another woman using the name Melissa, who said she first met Epstein when she was 16.

Maxwell’s lawyers argued she is being punished as a proxy for Epstein, who died in federal custody in August 2019. Despite numerous accusations of sexual abuse, Epstein escaped harsh punishment thanks to a deal he struck with federal prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida more than a decade earlier that allowed him to plead guilty to two state counts of solicitation, one involving a minor. He ultimately served only 13 months in a county jail and was regularly allowed to leave the jail to work from a nearby office.


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