Everything you need to know as a socialite facing sex trafficking conviction

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell will be sentenced by a court in New York on Tuesday, June 28, after being convicted of helping billionaire sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein abuse teenagers.

Maxwell, 60, the youngest daughter of notorious media baron Robert Maxwell, was found guilty Dec. your ex-boyfriend. boyfriend Epstein.

The latter took his own life in prison in Manhattan on August 10, 2019, aged 66, while awaiting trial.

Federal prosecutors issued a sentencing memorandum on Wednesday in which they described Maxwell’s behavior as “shockingly predatory” and called for her to be sentenced to 30 to 55 years in prison for her crimes.

“Ghislaine Maxwell has sexually exploited girls for years. It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of her crimes and the damage she caused. Her crimes demand justice,” they wrote in the document.

“The government urges the court to impose a sentence within the applicable guidelines ranging from 360 to 660 months in prison.

“Maxwell’s conduct was shockingly predatory. She was a calculating, sophisticated and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young people and prepared them for sexual abuse.

“Not only did her conduct exhibit callous disregard for other human beings, but her practice of targeting vulnerable victims reflects her view that struggling girls can be treated as disposable objects.”

In a letter to the court on Saturday, Maxwell’s attorney Bobbi Sternheim said she was placed on suicide watch despite not being suicidal.

Sternheim said she was “abruptly removed” from the general prison population and was denied access to toothpaste, soap, legal documents and any clothing except a protective “suicide apron”, making it impossible for her to review documents related to her sentence.

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein (US District Attorney)

The U.S. Parole Office has recommended a 20-year sentence, but prosecutors argue that it does not take into account the cases of two additional women proven victims during his four-week trial just before Christmas, despite not being named in the initial indictment. against Maxwell.

In April, Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over the trial, rejected the defendant’s offer for an acquittal but overturned the guilty verdicts on two counts because they overlapped, reducing Maxwell’s maximum possible sentence from 65 years to 55.

In a statement, Annie Farmer, who testified at the trial and spoke at Epstein’s bail hearing before killing herself in August 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking trial, said Maxwell’s lack of remorse and his repeated lies about victims forced “a long struggle for justice”. that felt like a black hole sucking our precious time, energy and well-being.”

Mrs. Farmer asked to speak at the sentencing. Maxwell’s lawyers objected to a request by several other Epstein victims unrelated to his trial, including Britain’s Sarah Ransome, to address the court.

On Friday, seven women who say Maxwell helped Epstein rob them of their youth wrote to the court asking Judge Nathan to consider their pain during sentencing.

Her defense attorneys have asked that she not serve more than five and a quarter years in prison, arguing, as they did throughout her trial, that she is being used as a scapegoat after Epstein’s suicide and that she has already served a significant amount of time. feathers time incarcerated at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center.

“Going from being expected on foot and holding hands to incarceration is, without a doubt, a shocking and unpleasant experience,” his legal team wrote, asking for sympathy.

Maxwell’s brothers also made a plea for leniency, pointing out the similarities between her close bond with Epstein and one she previously shared with her domineering father, who disappeared from the deck of his yacht, the Lady Ghislainein the Canary Islands in November 1991 and was later found drowned.

“Your relationship with Epstein began at a time of extreme vulnerability. [in] Ghislaine’s life after the tragic death of our father”, wrote his brothers and sisters in their own file.

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (US District Court for the Southern District of New York/AFP)

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (US District Court for the Southern District of New York/AFP)

“He, our father, was a powerful and dominant figure. And, as older brothers, we witnessed our father taking Ghislaine under his wing, causing her to become overly dependent on his approval and vulnerable to his frequent and rapid mood swings, massive angers and rejections. This led to her becoming very vulnerable to abusive and powerful men who would be able to take advantage of her innate good nature.

“It’s amazing that Ghislaine didn’t show any perverse behavior before meeting Epstein. Nor did she show any after leaving him, which she finally managed to do. The effect of our father’s psychologically abusive treatment on her foreshadowed Epstein’s own ability to exploit, manipulate, and control her.

“She had a difficult and traumatic childhood with an authoritarian, narcissistic and demanding father. This made her vulnerable to Epstein, who she met shortly after her father’s death. It’s the biggest mistake she’s ever made in her life and one she hasn’t made and will never make again.”

How long Ghislaine Maxwell will face behind bars will be decided by Judge Nathan next week.

At his trial in December, four accusers offered emotional and explicit testimony, declaring that Maxwell was a central figure at the heart of Epstein’s network of addictions, which saw him abuse several underage girls in his New York home, Florida mansion. , ranch in New Mexico and his private island of Little St James in the U.S. Virgin Islands, from the early 1990s to the late 2000s.

Additional reports by agencies

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