Ghislaine Maxwell should be sentenced to between 30 and 55 years in jail, US prosecutors have claimed as they described her conduct while helping former partner Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls as “shockingly predatory”.
The 60-year-old British socialite has been found guilty of sex trafficking and recruiting and grooming minors for sexual encounters with her then boyfriend Epstein between 1994 and 2004. The disgraced American financier and convicted sex criminal died by suicide in a Manhattan jail in August 2019.
In a sentencing note filed in a Manhattan federal court, prosecutors condemned Maxwell’s conduct and said her “practice of targeting vulnerable victims reflects her view that struggling young girls could be treated like disposable objects”.
“Instead of showing even a hint of acceptance of responsibility, the defendant makes a desperate attempt to cast blame wherever else she can,” the prosecutors said in the memo, reported NBC.
Her attempts 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,” they added.
The prosecutors have rejected demands of a lighter sentence for the socialite and said that her reports of poor confinement conditions at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Centre were not a fit reason.
“Going from being waited on hand and foot to incarceration is undoubtedly a shocking and unpleasant experience,” the prosecutors wrote.
According to the US probation office’s recommendation, Maxwell should get a 20-year sentence.
However, prosecutors said this did not take into account the cases of two additional women who were proven to be the duo’s victims in the trial and were not named during the initial indictment of the socialite.
Maxwell is set to be sentenced on 28 June.
Maxwell’s lawyers have told the court that she deserved a sentence of less than 20 years and say she is being used as a scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes and has already spent a significant amount of time in prison.
Additional reporting by agencies