US authorities claim that British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell should be sentenced to between 30 and 55 years in jail for assisting sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in sexually abusing adolescent females.
In December, a federal jury convicted Maxwell, 60, of five felonies, including sex trafficking, for recruiting and grooming four females between 1994 and 2004 for sexual encounters with her then-boyfriend, the international financier Epstein.
In a sentencing document submitted in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors described Maxwell's conduct as "shockingly predatory."
They added, "She was a cunning, intelligent, and dangerous criminal who preyed on vulnerable young girls and groomed them for sexual abuse."
Her choice of vulnerable victims reflects her belief that disadvantaged young women can be viewed as throwaway items.
The sentence will be handed down on June 28 by Circuit Judge Alison Nathan, who presided over Maxwell's four-week trial before being promoted.
Based on their review of federal sentencing guidelines, Maxwell's attorneys argued this week that she deserved less than the 20-year sentence recommended by probation officials and no more than five-and-a-quarter years in jail.
They maintained that Maxwell, the daughter of the late British media mogul Robert Maxwell, was being used as a scapegoat for Epstein's misdeeds, even though she had previously served considerable time in prison.
Epstein committed suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at 66 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking allegations.
Maxwell's trial was viewed by many as the retribution Epstein never received.
It was one of the most prominent cases in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, which pushed women to speak out about sexual assault, frequently at the hands of affluent and influential individuals.
Four women claimed that Maxwell was a pivotal figure in Epstein's years of abuse in very emotional and graphic testimony.
The United States Probation Office suggested a 20-year sentence for Maxwell.
Prosecutors, however, stated that this did not consider the circumstances of two additional women who were shown to be victims at trial despite not being identified in the initial charge against Maxwell and that the minimum sentence should be 30 years.
In April, Nathan denied Maxwell's motion for acquittal but overturned two guilty judgments because they overlapped.
This decreased Maxwell's potential maximum sentence from 65 years to 55 years.