Several accusers seek roles at Ghislaine Maxwell sentencing

FILE - Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of late British publisher Robert Maxwell, reads a statement expressing her family's gratitude to Spanish authorities after recovery of his body, in Nov. 7, 1991, in Tenerife, Spain. Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls over a 10-year period by her onetime boyfriend, financier Jeffrey Epstein, prosecutors said Wednesday, June 23, 2022, in written arguments. (AP Photo/Dominique Mollard, File) (Dominique Mollard, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – Two of four women who testified at Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial that she had a role in their sexual abuse at the hands of financier Jeffrey Epstein may be speaking at her sentencing or have their statements read aloud, court filings Friday show.

Prosecutors told a federal judge in a letter that two of six women who testified or were mentioned during a December trial plan to attend the Tuesday sentencing of the 60-year-old British socialite and may speak. They are Kate, an ex-model from Great Britain, and Annie Farmer, who identified herself in court by name after speaking out publicly.

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Maxwell’s lawyer in a separate submission to the judge said other women wanted to speak, or have statements read at the hearing, who were not directly part of the case.

The lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said the hearing “should not a bully pulpit for anyone who was not identified as a victim of the charged federal offenses and does not qualify as such.”

Those individuals not among the six people who prosecutors have formally identified as victims in the case “should not be permitted to give oral testimony or have their written victim impact statements read during sentencing,” she said.

Sternheim also objected to written statements by Farmer or Kate being read at sentencing, saying they raise issues that were not disclosed by the government or revealed during their testimony.

The Associated Press does not typically name people alleging sexual abuse unless they agree to be identified publicly, as Farmer has done.

Sternheim included letters from women as exhibits in her submission Friday, though portions were heavily redacted.

Prosecutors, in their letter to the judge, argued against the redactions, saying: “To the extent there is a privacy interest at stake in these documents, it belongs to the victims, who are not seeking to file these letters under seal.”

Maxwell was convicted of conspiracy and sex trafficking charges in December after a monthlong trial. Her lawyers have asked that she serve no more than five years in prison.

Prosecutors, though, say she should spend 30 to 55 years behind bars for recruiting and grooming teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein from 1994 to 2004.

Epstein, 66, took his own life in August 2019 in a Manhattan federal jail as he awaited a sex trafficking trial.