Ghislaine Maxwell sentencing, government asks for 30-55 years

Ghislaine Maxwell, after walking out the side door of her townhouse in Manhattan on January 4, 2015. (Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Saying it is "difficult to overstate the magnitude of her crimes and the harm she caused," the government is asking for Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, to face a sentence of 30-55 years in prison.  She is set to be sentenced next week in federal court.

A sentencing memorandum by federal prosecutors asks the judge in her sexual abuse case to sentence her to the maximum punishment allowed under the guidelines due to her years-long participation in the extensive child sexual exploitation scheme.

Lawyers for Maxwell asked the judge for leniency, among other things, citing the conditions that she has lived inside the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City.

Ghislaine Maxwell courtroom sketch artist's clear view of case

"It is unsurprising that a woman who had led a life of incredible luxury should complain about her life as a prisoner, but that fact does not come close to meriting leniency at sentencing, much less the extraordinary degree of leniency the defendant seeks," the government wrote.

Prosecutors noted that Ghislaine Maxwell has shown no remorse and not even hinted at any acceptance of responsibility for her role in the abuse.

Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were a couple for many years and then remained close friends.  Prosecutors said the couple targeted vulnerable victims for sexual abuse, causing significant and lasting harm.

Jefferey Epstein was arrested on July 6, 2019.  He died in custody in New York City.  His death was ruled a suicide.

Maxwell went on trial in Nov. 2021.  Her trial centered on the abuse of six girls, including a 14-year-old.

A jury found her guilty on multiple charges on Dec. 29, 2021.  As the verdict was read, Maxwell was largely stoic behind a black mask. Afterward, she could be seen pouring herself water as one of her attorneys patted her back. She stood with her hands folded as the jury filed out, and glanced at her siblings — faithfully in attendance each day of the trial — as she herself was led from the courtroom. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.