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Prosecutors are requesting that a judge sentence Ghislaine Maxwell to 30 years in prison.
Maxwell was convicted on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges late last year. Her sentencing is June 28.
Maxwell's lawyers previously tried to argue for a shorter sentence based on her troubled childhood.
Federal prosecutors recommended that Jeffrey Epstein's longtime girlfriend and associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, be sentenced to at least 30 years in prison, they wrote in a Wednesday night court filing.
"Not only did her conduct exhibit a callous disregard for other human beings, but her practice of targeting vulnerable victims reflects her view that struggling young girls could be treated like disposable objects," prosecutors wrote.
They also denied that Maxwell had been the target of any jail death plot, as her attorneys had previously alleged in their bid to get her a shorter sentence. Prosecutors said that lawyers for the Metropolitan Detention Center, the Brooklyn jail holding Maxwell, conducted an internal investigation of the purported threat and determined it was false.
"An inmate at the MDC remarked to someone in passing, in sum and substance, 'I'd kill her if someone paid me a million dollars.' Someone else overheard that remark and reported it, resulting in the inmate being moved out of the housing unit," prosecutors write. "The MDC's investigation revealed that the inmate had not actually been paid to kill the defendant and had not actually threatened Maxwell."
Maxwell is set to be sentenced on June 28 after being found guilty of multiple sex trafficking and conspiracy charges in December.
Attorneys for the British-born socialite previously requested a shorter sentence of just over five years, citing alleged threats from other inmates and cruelty from her father during their childhood. Probation authorities have recommended a 20-year sentence for Maxwell.
The sentence will ultimately come down to the judge who presided over the trial, Alison J. Nathan, who was recently promoted to a higher position as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Nathan will announce her decision on Tuesday after multiple victims are given the chance to confront Maxwell and give impact statements.
Prosecutors wrote in the Wednesday filing that a sentence of between 30 and 55 years would be appropriate for the disgraced socialite, who turned 60 as jurors deliberated her verdict in December.
"Ghislaine Maxwell played an instrumental role in the horrific sexual abuse of multiple young teenage girls. 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 say Maxwell told 'blatant lies' about jail conditions
Maxwell's attorneys had argued, too, that Maxwell deserved a lighter sentence because of what they claimed were horrific conditions at her Brooklyn jail. In numerous court filings leading up to and throughout the trial, they complained she was underfed, sustained hair and weight loss, was given inedible food, lacked clean water, had to live with the smell of feces permeating her cell, and did not have the resources to review evidence in her case.
In their sentencing memo, prosecutors called the claims about the jail "blatant lies."
"She repeatedly claims to have suffered significant hair loss, but anyone who has seen the defendant in court can easily see that is not true. She repeatedly claims to have lost an extreme amount of weight, but, as noted above, BOP medical records make clear that she has not," prosecutors wrote. "The defendant is perfectly healthy, with a full head of hair."
Prosecutors wrote that Maxwell may have been upset at the vast gulf between her jail experience and her life of luxury before detention, but that her lawyers ultimately got her more accommodations than most inmates are able to obtain.
"In the day room, the defendant had exclusive access to a telephone, a television, a desktop computer, a laptop computer, and a shower," prosecutors wrote. "The defendant had access to recreation time and programming, as well as multiple hours each day to meet with her attorneys. Those conditions are a far cry from the 23-hour-per-day lockdown experienced by inmates in [maximum security units], and indeed, a far cry from many inmates in general population during the COVID-19 pandemic, who were often locked in their cells for significant periods of time to prevent the spread of the virus."
The sentencing memo also asked that Nathan force Maxwell to pay $750,000 in fines, the maximum statutory amount, even though it would be a "drop in the bucket" of her overall wealth. Since all of her victims in the trial had obtained money from the Epstein Victims' Compensation Program, they were not eligible for restitution, prosecutors wrote.
Maxwell's attorneys have indicated they plan to appeal the verdict against her. They have long argued that she is being scapegoated for the crimes of her one-time boyfriend, Epstein, who died in prison before he could be brought to justice for sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.
After Epstein's August 2019 death, the investigation shifted to others in his orbit, and Maxwell was arrested a little less than a year later.
"The defendant's attempt 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," prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memo. "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."
Maxwell also faced a separate set of criminal charges for lying about her sexual abuse of girls alongside Epstein in depositions taken for civil lawsuits, but prosecutors said they plan to drop those charges following sentencing so that her victims wouldn't need to testify about their experiences again.
Read the original article on Insider