Maxwell, wearing a blue prison uniform and a white mask to conform with coronavirus rules, sat quietly through the first hour of the sentencing hearing as lawyers debated the law. At least three of her siblings sat in a row behind her. Most of the others in the crowded courtroom were members of the media.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the jet-setting socialite who once consorted with royals, presidents and billionaires, was brought into a New York courtroom Tuesday in a prison uniform and with her ankles shackled to await her sentence for helping the financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse underage girls, AP reports.

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan ruled that the federal sentencing guideline she will rely upon in sentencing the 60-year-old Maxwell is a range between 15 1/2 and 19 1/2 years in prison, roughly half of the 30- to 55-year term sought by federal prosecutors. Defense attorneys want a five-year term.

The sentencing in New York is the culmination of a prosecution that detailed how the power couple flaunted their riches and prominent connections to lure vulnerable girls as young as 14, and then exploit them.

The hearing was so long that Nathan called for a half-hour lunch break, unusual for such proceedings. At some point, Maxwell will have a chance to speak, as will five women who say they were sexually abused by Epstein with Maxwell’s help.

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