The British socialite will be convicted on just three counts after Judge Alison Nathan agreed that two of the conspiracy charges she faced were repetitive.
Prosecutors have asked the judge to sentence Maxwell to 30 to 55 years in prison, which is in line with federal sentencing guidelines, even though the probation service recommended 20 years.
Maxwell’s lawyers demanded a lenient sentence of between 4.25 and 5.25 years in prison, calling it a “travesty of justice” if Maxwell is given a sentence better suited to Epstein himself.
Prior to the sentence, a number of victim statements are read to the court. The judge has granted requests from eight women to make a victim statement in writing or in person at the time of sentencing.
The conviction represents a pivotal moment in an international sex trafficking case that spanned decades and exemplifies ways the rich and powerful can avoid consequences for their actions.
“Mrs. Maxwell has already endured difficult times while incarcerated under conditions far harsher and more punitive than those of a typical remand inmate, and she is preparing to spend significantly more time behind bars,” Maxwell’s lawyers said in a statement. their sentencing recommendation. “Her life has been ruined. Since Epstein’s death, her life has been threatened and death threats continue while she is incarcerated.”
Prosecutors disputed Maxwell’s allegations of assault at the Metropolitan Detention Center. They said in their recommendation for sentencing that Maxwell has enjoyed “remarkable privileges as a high-profile inmate that vastly exceed the benefits of the average inmate,” including access to a private shower, television, desktop computer, laptop and her own space to spend. time outside her cell.
Officials at the Brooklyn detention facility, where Maxwell is housed, said she was placed under suicide watch this weekend after worrying she had an “increased risk of self-harm” before she was sentenced.
Prosecutors said Maxwell refused to answer questions from psychological staff about why she fears for her safety, but did tell staff she was not suicidal. Prosecutors said the director had told them she would remain on suicide watch until she “no longer has an increased risk of self-harm”.
A fellow inmate wrote a letter to the judge praising Maxwell’s positive interactions with other inmates and her volunteer work teaching yoga and helping inmates complete their GED degrees.
“It is important to know that there are also positive opinions, some of which are among inmates on the ward,” the detainee said in her letter.
What happened during the trial?
Prosecutors argued that Maxwell and Epstein colluded to set up a plan to lure young girls into sexual relations with Epstein from 1994 to 2004 in New York, Florida, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Four women testified at trial that Epstein abused them and that Maxwell facilitated and sometimes participated in the abuse.
Her defense, meanwhile, said she was a “scapegoat” for Epstein’s actions and attacked the memories and motivations of the women who say they were sexually abused.
The prosecution’s case relied mainly on the testimony of the four women.
The jury was instructed not to convict Maxwell on any count, based solely on Kate’s testimony, as she was of age at the time of the events, but jurors could consider Kate’s charges in addition to the testimonies of the three other women.
Victim impact statements say Maxwell enabled abuse
In her impact statement, Farmer asked the judge to consider the lasting consequences of Maxwell’s behavior for her victims.
“Judge Nathan, I hope that in considering the appropriate prison sentence for the role Maxwell played in this sex trafficking operation, you will consider the ongoing suffering of the many women she abused and exploited, as we will continue to live with the memories the ways she has harmed us,” she wrote. “I hope you weigh the systemic effects of the crimes she committed — the way our relatives, romantic partners and friends have been hurt by our suffering.”
Kate has also written a victim statement detailing the manipulation she says she suffered from Maxwell to benefit Epstein.
“I have witnessed on numerous occasions over many years Ghislaine Maxwell trying to recruit other girls and making consistent and persistent demands on me and others to do the same,” she wrote.
“I witnessed her relentless and insatiable urge to satisfy Epstein’s sexual needs, at all costs to the vulnerable girls and women, whom she preyed upon and fed on Epstein and other powerful men, to whom she wished to praise herself. . There was never any ambiguity or doubt about her full knowledge of what would happen if she recruited girls,” she said in her victim statement.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre did not testify at the trial, but was included in the charges as a victim and was referenced frequently during witness statements during the trial. She addressed her written statement personally to Maxwell.
“I want to be clear about one thing: Jeffrey Epstein was without a doubt a terrible pedophile. But I would never have met Jeffrey Epstein if it weren’t for you,” she wrote. “For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell. And then, Ghislaine, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you used your femininity to betray us and led us all through it.’
Maxwell lost bid to drop convictions
Prosecutors called the term “absurd and offensive” in their responding memo.
Maxwell was an adult who made her own choices. She made the choice to sexually exploit countless underage girls. She made the choice to work with Epstein for years, working as partners in crime and inflicting devastating harm on vulnerable people. victims. She must be held responsible for her disturbing role in a major child exploitation program,” the prosecutor’s memo read.
“The lenient punishment the defendant seeks would convey the message that there is one system of laws for the rich and powerful, and another system for everyone else.”
“The testimony and other evidence from the trial established the defendant’s role in grooming and recruiting underage girls and using the cover of massage to commit sexual abuse,” Nathan wrote in her opinion.
Maxwell also lost her bid on a new trial earlier this year. Her defense team argued for a mistrial over a juror who revealed in post-trial media interviews that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a minor, a fact he did not disclose on a pre-trial jury selection questionnaire.
Sonia Moghe, Kara Scannell and Eric Levenson of DailyExpertNews contributed to this report.