Attorneys for Ghislaine Maxwell have requested the British socialite be sentenced "well below" the 20 years recommended by authorities in her federal sex-trafficking case.
In court papers filed in Manhattan federal court, they said Maxwell deserves leniency
"Ghislaine Maxwell is not an heiress, villain, or vapid socialite. She has worked hard her entire life. She has energy, drive, commitment, a strong work ethic, and desire to do good in the world," the lawyers wrote in advance of a sentencing scheduled for June 28.
They also said Maxwell endured a "difficult, traumatic childhood with an overbearing, narcissistic, and demanding father." They also alleged an inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn threatened to kill her.
In support of their claim, they submitted letters from Maxwell's family, a former employee and a psychiatrist who has seen her in prison. Prosecutors will submit their own arguments before the sentencing.
In its final report, the probation department recommended the 20-year prison term, which would be a slight downward departure from what sentencing guidelines would otherwise call for, Maxwell's lawyers said.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein. The conviction was upheld in April.
Epstein took his own life in 2019 while he was awaiting a federal sex-trafficking trial in New York.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.