Ghislaine Maxwell asks for a lighter sentence due to a “difficult” childhood

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell asked a judge to give her a significantly lower sentence than the government recommended, saying her difficult childhood made her vulnerable to Jeffrey Epstein and that she should not be given a harsh sentence because of her actions.

Maxwell, 60, was found guilty by a jury in December of five federal counts, including sex trafficking of a minor, after a month-long trial in which jurors heard testimony about her relationship with the late Epstein. Prosecutors argued at Maxwell’s trial that she helped him set up a scheme to lure young girls into sex between 1994 and 2004.

Epstein was found dead in a federal detention center shortly after being charged with allegedly running a sex trafficking ring of underage girls, and Maxwell was arrested the following year.

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, left, have asked a judge to give her a significantly lower sentence than the government’s recommended, saying her difficult childhood left her vulnerable to Jeffrey Epstein. (Southern District of New York)

“But this Court cannot convict Ms. Maxwell as if she were an agent of Epstein simply because Epstein is no longer there,” Maxwell’s attorney said in his sentencing recommendation.

“Ms Maxwell cannot and should not bear all the punishment for which Epstein should have been held responsible.”

Prosecutors are expected to make their sentencing recommendation by June 22, and Maxwell is expected to be sentenced on June 28. The probation service recommended a 20-year sentence, below sentencing guidelines.

CNN has reached out to prosecutors for comment on Maxwell’s sentencing recommendation.

FILE In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell enters the courtroom escorted by U.S. Marshals at the start of her trial, Nov. 29, 2021, in New York City.  Judge Alison Nathan said on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, she would question a juror under oath in a rare post-verdict testimony hearing about the answers he gave during jury selection for Maxwell's criminal trial. after telling the media that he did not recall being asked about any previous sexual abuse.  (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams, File)
Maxwell is due to be sentenced on June 28. (AP)

In Maxwell’s request for a more lenient sentence, his lawyers said it would be a “travesty of justice” if Maxwell faced an appropriate sentence for Epstein. They recommended that she be sentenced between four years three months and five years three months in prison.

While a jury convicted Maxwell on five counts, she will only be convicted on three after the judge presiding over her case agreed that two of the conspiracy counts she faced were repetitive.

“Ms. Maxwell has already experienced a difficult time while held in conditions far more onerous and punitive than those experienced by a typical remand prisoner, and she is preparing to spend far more time behind bars,” the lawyers wrote. by Maxwell.

“His life has been ruined. Since Epstein’s death, his life has been threatened and death threats continue while he is incarcerated.”

Citing a “difficult and traumatic childhood” with an overbearing father, Maxwell’s lawyers say she was “vulnerable” to Epstein, and meeting him was the “biggest mistake she made in her life”. Maxwell’s lawyers say she hasn’t been charged with “anything untoward” in the 15 years since her relationship with Epstein ended.

Maxwell has been detained since her July 2020 arrest, and her lawyers say her time behind bars has been a “disproportionate pre-conviction punishment” that won’t end now that she’s housed with the general population.

Her lawyers claim she was recently threatened by an inmate in her unit who allegedly told her another 20 years in prison was worth the “money” she would get for killing Maxwell.

Her lawyers also claim she is subjected to multiple pat-downs a day where she alleges “having been sexually inappropriately touched by correctional officers” on multiple occasions.

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