Federal prosecutors on Tuesday asked a judge to sentence Ghislaine Maxwell to at least 30 years behind bars, saying the disgraced socialite deserves a punishment that “sends a message” to people who conspire with sexual predators.
Maxwell, 60, is facing sentencing in Manhattan federal court after being convicted of grooming young girls for her pal and former lover Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
“Maxwell was an adult woman and she made choices, week in, week out for years to commit crimes with Jeffrey Epstein, to be his right hand, to make his crimes possible. Those choices were hers and they have to have serious consequences,” prosecutor Alison Moe said.
“We ask the court to send the message that nobody is above the law and nobody is too rich or too powerful to be held accountable,” Moe said.
Prosecutors described Maxwell and Epstein as “predators together, partners in crime.” Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
Moe asked the judge to impose a sentence beyond sentencing guidelines of roughly 15 to 19 years because of the number of victims, the length of the crimes and the vulnerability of her victims.
“These girls were just kids,” Moe said of the victims, saying Maxwell trapped them “in a horrifying nightmare.” The prosecutor then asked “what kind of a person” would engage in activities like Maxwell undertook, such as teaching young girls how a middle-aged man likes his genitals to be touched.
“These are the actions of a person who is indifferent to the suffering of other human beings,” Moe said.
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