« Signing of NDAA into law brings some (low profile) federal sentencing reform to the military justice system | Main | "How the Economic Loss Guideline Lost its Way, and How to Save It" »

December 29, 2021

"How Much Prison Time Could Ghislaine Maxwell Serve After Sex Trafficking Conviction?"

The question in the title of this post is the headline of this new Newsweek article that explores a bit what I started thinking about upon hearing that Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's "helper," had been convicted on five of six federal sex trafficking charges.  The simple technical answer to the question is 65 years, and the article provides these (helpful?) additional details:

The most serious charge Maxwell was convicted of, sex trafficking of a minor, carries a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.  She was also convicted of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, a charge punishable by up to 10 years, as well as three other charges that each carry maximum sentences of five years.... It is unclear when she could be tried on two separate counts of perjury, which could also add a five-year sentence apiece.

[I]f 60-year-old Maxwell is given a sentence anywhere near the maximum allowable term, she may spend the rest of her life behind bars, especially since the federal prison system does not include parole. If federal prison sentencing guidelines are allowed and she is ordered to serve sentences concurrently, Maxwell could face as little as 10 years.

Maxwell was sent back to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center after the verdict was read on Wednesday.  She has been held at the facility in isolation since being arrested in July 2020. Maxwell is likely to remain there until she is sentenced and assigned to a federal prison....

It is unclear whether security measures for Maxwell will be altered in light of her convictions.  Maxwell has denied all of the charges that she was convicted of on Wednesday. Plans to launch an appeal have already been set in motion, her attorney Bobbi Sternheim told reporters after the verdict. "We firmly believe in Ghislaine's innocence," Sternheim said. "Obviously we are very disappointed with the verdict, we have already started working on the appeal and we are confident that she will be vindicated."

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan has yet to announce the date of Maxwell's pending sentencing hearing.

I think this article means to make the point that if federal sentencing guidelines are followed (not "allowed"), then Maxwell would be quite likely to get a term lower than the 65-year  statutory maximum available.  (It is perhaps worth noting that the most serious count of conviction now carries a statutory maximum sentence of life, but the stat max was "only" 40 years at the time of Maxwell's offense conduct.)

I am not an expert on guideline calculations for this set of offenses, but my sense is that the recommend range will be at least as high as 20 years, and perhaps even much higher.  It will be interesting to see the precise calculation and the sentencing advocacy by the prosecution and the defense in the months ahead.  It will also be interesting to watch if Judge Nathan's nomination to the Second Circuit, or the effort by some GOP Senators to question her sentencing work, could come to somehow impact Maxwell's eventual sentencing.

December 29, 2021 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

Comments

I knew this would pop right up. Selective prosecution of 70s, 80s and 90's sleaze fests with emancipated minors weeping years later. A whole lotta bilge.

Posted by: Fluffyross | Dec 30, 2021 9:30:17 AM

My quick glance at the guidelines gave me a range of 121-151 months. Given the behavior involved and the number of victims, I would expect an upwards departure. My quick guess would be somewhere between 15 and 20 years.

Posted by: tmm | Dec 30, 2021 10:24:34 AM

She’s going to sing.

Posted by: Federalist | Dec 30, 2021 1:26:35 PM

Stalinist show trials on "crimes" that are older than the original statute of limitations (7 of 5 years) deserve no prison time whatsoever. Another travesty of justice and those responsible for bringing and prosecuting the case should be given 5 years hard labor. Set Maxwell free.

Posted by: restless94110 | Dec 30, 2021 4:45:48 PM

What sentence? Zero, of course!

-- They'll get over it.

-- Their skirts were too short so they had it coming.

-- The prosecutors just went after Maxwell because the main malefactor was dead, and they didn't want to waste all that work they did putting the case file together.

-- Maxwell was actually the victim of Epstein's conniving. The girls are older now anyway, and it's time to move on.

-- The age of consent should be 10; it's only higher than that because of prosecutor/Puritan/tight-panties Republicans. Guys, please, we're in the New Age!

-- It was all just to distract from racial injustice and rampant white supremacy. We shouldn't be fooled!

-- We already have incarceration nation and we don't need to add one more.

*********************************

My thanks to the defense bar for years of teaching me the correct reaction to stories like this.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 30, 2021 6:06:25 PM

"It will also be interesting to watch if Judge Nathan's nomination to the Second Circuit, or the effort by some GOP Senators to question her sentencing work, could come to somehow impact Maxwell's eventual sentencing."

Nathan's about as far as you can get from being a hack, so I'm predicting the amount of "impact" will be roughly zero.

Posted by: kotodama | Dec 31, 2021 9:59:15 AM

Otis: it's not just the defense bar. It's as the Chambers Bros. sang: "Time, time, time..." Morality then v morality now. The word on the street is that today's morality is tainted retrospectively, first by conservatives and lefties with zero lifestyle in those years,
and second, with the shrinkage of an inactive penis. This is true. "I heard it through the grapevine."

Posted by: FluffyRoss | Dec 31, 2021 2:59:32 PM

Fluffy --

I don't know what you've been smoking or snorting, but remind me to stay away from it.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Dec 31, 2021 11:10:37 PM

I predict an effective life sentence. At least 25 years. In most cases, she might be able to get it reduced by telling on her clients. But in this case, the clients are so well-connected, I'm not confident that the prosecutors would want her to do so.

Posted by: William C Jockusch | Jan 9, 2022 9:37:46 PM

And what about the little black book? Does it remain sealed to protect all the politicians, celebrities, and businessmen who would probably get a similar conviction? Oh, sorry, they have plenty of money to pay for an "adequate defense."

Posted by: Oswaldo | Jan 11, 2022 9:04:02 PM

This is a witch hunt against her . She is essentially a surrogate for Epstein alleged acts. She should not even have been charged let alone convicted. Unfair trial by media. Now saying more than 10 years for allegedly touching a teens tits more than 20 teens ago- (who was brought in by others anyway and received millions of dolllars ) ? Come on. It’s a disgrace - it’s unjust disgrace. Maxwell already being punished way too hard. Killers get less time in Uk and other western countries. USA justice is unjust.

Posted by: Dianne Felgate | Feb 10, 2022 7:27:49 AM

Sex traffickers of children have no heart or soul. They just destroy everyone around them.

It is my hope that the Maxwell case is a precedent to stop this kind of behavior in the well connected.

My own kids are being sex trafficked by a violent attorney, Valerie Houghton. The youngest is just 2. When I tried to protect my kids, Ms. Houghton had me hacked, stalked, harassed, and assaulted.

If anyone can help me, please let me know. This has been extremely difficult to cope with. I have posted more details here:

https://forum.legaljunkies.com/forum/family-law-divorce-custody/child-custody-and-support/653143-valerie-houghton-sex-trafficked-all-of-my-kids-then-had-me-poisoned-when-i-complained

Posted by: Ben Z. | Jun 28, 2022 8:15:23 PM

I was completely surprised that Maxwell ended up getting 20 years. She was connected to powerful lawyers, judges and politicians. These kinds of people typically are allowed to sexually abuse children without repercussions.

Case in point, Valerie Houghton has sex trafficked my own children. She also had me assaulted when I complained. No one is willing to help. In fact, there are people helping her cover the whole thing up. They don't care what happens to my children. I begged and begged for help. Told them about all the assaults. That didn't dissuade them either.

Valerie Houghton is allowed to break any law that she wants.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 11, 2022 5:51:14 PM

It all makes Houghton laugh. I doubt that she has the ability to care for children. She only knows how to fake it with words.

When it comes down to it, she wouldn't hesitate to force children to be sexually abuse so that profits will be maximized. "It's not rape if they want it... She'll [my daughter] will have fun.. My child, my rules." those are jokes that she made to me. Valerie also said that my youngest would be pregnant by the time she turns 15.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 13, 2022 4:47:52 PM

Valerie is a child abuser, plain and simple.

She's also a killer.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 13, 2022 4:48:44 PM

Maxwell thought that sentencing would never come. That is why she did what she did. She had no fear.

Valerie is the same way. She knows that she will never be arrested for what she does to families. It emboldens her even more.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 13, 2022 4:50:28 PM

Even Joseph DeAngelo (the Golden State Killer) hung it up at some point. It is the powerful like Epstein and Houghton that kept sex trafficking with impunity.

I think Valerie likely has less fear than Epstein did. She just puts whatever she wants into the record, no matter how absurd. The issue is that no one really questions the court record. It is held as sacrosanct.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 1:34:39 PM

If countries like the United States want to get rid of pedophilia, or drastically reduce the rate of it, then they must start addressing people with power. Said perpetrators influence how the system operates. DA's, Judges, law enforcement, and even CPS are influenced by people like Maxwell and Houghton. They look the other way.

Zero tolerance is what is needed for people who facilitate the rapes of children. There is no telling how many children can be protected.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:18:16 PM

Just read one of the replies that I left on Judge James Towery's Robing Room website for complaints.

"The district attorney would sooner investigate you than do anything to protect a child against a judge’s wishes. They cower in fear to these judges who control their livelihood. The common person means nothing to them."

http://www.therobingroom.com/california/Judge.aspx?id=15387


These people are directly affecting how the system is supposed to protect children. Indirectly, it trickles down to the rest of the community.

We should all be furious.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:21:30 PM

My daughter is under the legal custody of man who had previously drugged and raped a teen. The mother agreed to give me custody because she knows the danger posed in giving the rapist custody, but the judge would not let us stipulate.

Here is another reply to my complaints about Judge James Towery:

"Unfortunately, the court sees evidence that the man holding custody raped and drugged someone in the past as "ancient history." Although in the court of public opinion we all know your child should not be with such a person, the court doesn't care. This is the root of injustice--the discrepancy between how the court thinks versus a reasonable person's common sense."


These people are callous and cruel. They simply don't care about children getting raped. I believe that they take pleasure in doing this to them.

http://www.therobingroom.com/california/Judge.aspx?id=15387

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:24:55 PM

The system also includes the new media. I am in the process of making complaints. They have been included in the emails, but refuse to report on it.

Today I saw this story in the Mercury News:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/08/14/exclusive-alameda-county-children-wait-as-caseworkers-fail-to-urgently-respond-to-reports-of-abuse/

There is a crisis in Santa Clara County, but they will only report on the neglect of the system in Alemeda County.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:30:25 PM

I guess that things are different in Florida. The Miami Herald did publish a story on the failures of the system, as well details of what Epstein and Maxwell did to those children.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:31:50 PM

In a way, Judge Towery has amassed even more power. He has become almost invincible.

All the complaints are out in the open. All you have to do is spend five minutes doing a google search.

Litigants must be terrified to go to court. No one is ever going to make a complaint against him. He is free to do whatever he wants.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:43:48 PM

Just watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qULmfLltwPA&t=403s

Judge James Towery ordered a hearing for midnight, when the courthouse was closed. As such, a parent could not appear. The judge then cut the child off from the parent and gave the child to a man who was incarcerated. He was not the biological father, nor the father listed on the birth certificate.

The child then went on to live with the incarcerated man's brother, who allegedly
went on to beat and rape the child.

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:48:41 PM

There is nothing that I can do to protect my children. I've made complaints to the Center of Judicial Performance, the police, CPS, the Presiding Judge of the county, the Chief Justice of the state, the District Attorney, the Attorney General, the Board of Supervisors, County Counsel, and to many others.

They all have the details of what happened to my kids and the legal misconduct.

NO ONE WILL LIFT A FINGER TO PROTECT MY KIDS

Posted by: Frank K | Aug 14, 2022 2:51:56 PM

I don't think that some cases land in Judge Towery's courtroom by coincidence. I've seen how things are prearranged.

If you are appointed minor's counsel, object immediately. The extra attorney is for more chaos and to take away more of your control. They will never speak for what the child wants or needs.

The end game is to liquidate as much of your assets as possible and to divide said assets among the attorneys. The case will drag out for years.

Posted by: John | Aug 15, 2022 1:43:24 PM

If children are being sexually abused, custody will automatically go to the abuser. The parent who is trying to protect the children will be cut out or have limited contact with the children. The abuser will pay whatever price the attorneys name just to stay out of jail.

This continues until the children turn 18 or all the money is gone.

Posted by: John | Aug 15, 2022 1:46:01 PM

If you don't give them what they ask for, you will be harmed. No avenue will be spared. The punishment will be severe.

Your health, housing, career, peace of mind, and access to your children are all on the line. Some may think that because you are in courtroom that this is far fetched. The opposite is true. The courtroom only emboldens Judge Towery and Valerie Houghton.

Posted by: John | Aug 16, 2022 2:33:23 PM

Judge Towery's wife used to be the chief assistant district attorney. I don't know how that affects things, but you can even be prosecuted without having committed a crime. They will use the proceedings to cover up the sexual abuse of your children and put you in jail.

No one will care.

Posted by: John | Aug 16, 2022 2:36:03 PM

Clyde Berg used to be Houghton's business partner. He has accused her of stealing more than $10,000,000 from him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEg1fTduQp0

see this too: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6981163-HoughtonIndictment-Docket

Less than a month after asking for his money back, Clyde Berg was falsely arrested. He was accused of raping a woman with a golf putter at gun point. He had to spend $3,000,000 in legal fees and spend 8 days in jail before being found factually innocent.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2015/01/16/silicon-valley-millionaire-clyde-berg-found-factually-innocent-sex-abuse-of-wife/

Posted by: John | Aug 16, 2022 2:41:51 PM

Ms. Maxwell not only got sentenced, but she also got an appropriate one. Valerie Houghton has destroyed my life and maimed my body. She's sex trafficked all of my children and scarred them for life. Where is the justice in that?

Posted by: Larry | Sep 4, 2022 1:36:52 PM

I refused to be assessed because the attorney made assurances that an evaluation would be tampered with.
archive.ph/J0LTf

Dr. Lynn Mangiameli submitted an evaluation into the record of a false determination of incompetency, anyhow. This was despite having the knowledge of what was happening to my kids and WITHOUT EVER MEETING ME OR SPEAKING WITH ME and without informed consent. He didn't even use an assessment. Dr. Mangiameli simply didn't care.

I have a graduate degree in psychology. It is common knowledge that you must use scientific measures of some kind to make any determination.

Dr, Mangiameli doesn't care about kids being sexually abused.

Here is a direct quote from Dr. Lyn J. Mangiameli, circa 2019.

After volunteering during a wild fire, he is reflecting on what is important to him

"My integrity. My reputation may go up and down in the judgement of others, but my integrity is a contract with myself. Only I can diminish it, and sometimes I have paid a high price in my refusal to do so."

https://ncps.org/newsletter/article/472/unspoken-physical-and-emotional-aftermath-wild-fires-unique-perspective

Based on his behavior, I believe that he is being defensive about his reputation and has done this before to other children

He goes on to say: "Whether public safety worker or common citizen, the greatest destructive cognition is guilt....Guilt for what your children are experiencing, and perhaps are unable to understand."

Having a conscience is "destructive" because it would prevent Dr. Mangiameli from pocketing the extra money. I have no doubt that he has destroyed many other lives with his greed.

Please sign these petitions. The taxpayer should never be defrauded.

https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/judicial-council-please-do-not-contract-with-dr-lyn-mangiameli?just_launched=true

https://www.change.org/p/judicial-council-of-california-please-stop-contracting-with-dr-lyn-mangiameli?recruiter=1275568634&recruited_by_id=656d5ce0-2a36-11ed-a0cd-dd224c5705f7&utm_source=share_petition&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_medium=twitter

When I found out that Dr. Mangiameli was going to write a report with my participation, I made sure that he knew what was happening to my kids. I filed a preemptive complaint with the California Board of Psychology. Kimberly Kirchmeyer (from the Department of Consumer Affairs) told me that she would personally contact him. But none of that deterred him from writing the fake report.

Without my consent, Dr. Mangiameli essentially used his state issued license to sell my right to protect my kids. He has absolutely no conscience. Mangiameli is a mandated reporter of child abuse. Instead protecting them, he facilitated the sexual abuse of my children.

He has demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to make any determination. I recommend not using this psychologist.

Posted by: Mack L | Sep 7, 2022 5:26:09 PM

Valerie Houghton is a sick person. Only misery emanates from her. If you don't agree with whatever bad situation she conjures, Valerie will subject you to even more misery. She has no ability to admit wrong doing. In the case of Clyde Berg, instead of returning his money, she put him in jail.

It wasn't Valerie that did something wrong. She had every right to misappropriate his money.

I, personally, was never arrested before my divorce. She wanted to create misery. Some people get off on abusing others. Valerie lives for it.

Everything in your life is on the table. (1) freedom (2) health (3) access to children (4) career (5) peace of mind (6) ability to provide oneself with basic necessities (7) privacy (8) involvement of all your friends and family

You won't truly understand what a monster really is until you meet her. She won't stop destroying your life until you completely submit to her. The submission itself is misery. There is a possibility that you may need to choose between getting assaulted and letting your kids get raped. Valerie has no humanity inside her.

She doesn't have to deal with legal consequences because she also uses the courts to cover herself. Not having to fear those kinds of consequences makes her even more dangerous.

Posted by: fred G | Sep 11, 2022 1:45:38 PM

Valerie doesn't care. It is not her health or life that is being destroyed. It is a video game to her. No empathy is involved.

And the money is secondary. She actually gets off on the sadism.

There was never a need to force my youngest daughter to be in the legal custody of a rapist. Valerie said, "She'll have fun." She also indicated that my daughter would be pregnant by the time she was 15.

I believe that she got licensed to be a therapist to make people trust her. She is a rabid wolf in sheep's clothing. It is like Ghislaine Maxwell starting her charity for the protection of oceans after Jeffrey Epstein signed his plea agreement.

Posted by: fred G | Sep 11, 2022 1:53:48 PM

We want our firemen to put out fires like it is a knee-jerk response. The last thing that we need are firefighters to gaslight us and drink hot coco while our homes are burning down.

Child molestation should be treated the same way by our mandated reporters. When a license is issued by the California Board of Psychology or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, licensees such as Valerie Houghton and Lyn Mangiameli are expected to abide by all the rules governing their profession. Instead they violate their agreement with the state by forcing children into abusive situations so that they can line their pockets.

When this is accomplished in the context of a courtroom, it becomes virtually impossible to hold them legally accountable. They are two jackals laughing at the rest of us as they count the money.

Posted by: mangiameli victim | Sep 19, 2022 2:22:58 PM

You can view all of Valerie's 70+ social media posts that I was directed to view: https://archive.ph/https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/valerie-r-houghton-lmft-san-jose-2*

She has no loyalty to paying clients. Houghton views herself as the clients. All of her monetary and sexual interests will be prioritized. Everything good in your life is destroyed in the process.

Posted by: Larry | Sep 19, 2022 2:31:05 PM

You can forget about Perry Mason or Matlock appearing on your behalf. Valerie doesn't focus on oral arguments or filing pleadings. Her work is focused outside of the courtroom. The goal is to take complete control of the proceedings by hacking and extracting information by other means. It won't matter if you are the client or the other party. The more information that she has, the more control she can exert.

She is clever and creative. Valerie will always find a way to bring you to your knees. Even if she doesn't have information that she can act on, she is proficient at 'creating' situations that she can. The 'creating' can be so aversive that it will bring you to your knees.

In the end, the court is only a place for you to sign agreements.

Posted by: Rick | Sep 21, 2022 3:34:47 PM

They couldn't just confine themselves to Department 77. Judge Towery and Ms. Houghton make the taxpayer pay to cover up what they did to my kids. The DA's Office, Public Defender's Office, other judges and the Judicial Council (who payed Dr. Mangiameli) were all utilized to cover the initial misconduct. It is quite disgusting that they force the common citizen to share their burden.

Like was mentioned previously, Ms. Houghton has a history of using the DA's Office for retaliating against her clients and business partners. It is nothing new. But to cover up the sexual abuse of children with public funds is just despicable.

Posted by: Mark J | Sep 22, 2022 4:55:39 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB