British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is facing up to 65 years in prison for luring young girls to massage rooms to be molested by Jeffrey Epstein.
The 60-year-old, who was labelled “dangerous” by the prosecution during her three-week trial last year, helped entice vulnerable teenagers to the disgraced financier’s various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Victims of Maxwell told the court in the Southern District of New York of her “relentless and insatiable drive to meet the sexual needs of Epstein” and their “retraumatisation” over having to give evidence during the trial.
The socialite was convicted in December last year of sex trafficking minors, conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
She was also found guilty of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.
One of the women giving an impact statement at the sentencing is Virginia Giuffre, who last year accused Prince Andrew of abusing her when she was a teenager.
In her lawsuit, Ms Giuffre accused Andrew of sexual abuse, saying the duke had sex with her when she was 17 and had been trafficked by his friend, the late Mr Epstein.
Although the parties settled the case in February, the multi-million pound out-of-court agreement was not an admission of guilt from the duke, who has always strenuously denied the allegations against him.
When is she being sentenced?
Maxwell is being sentenced today, six months after being found guilty.
There has been a lengthy back and forth between the prosecution and defence over the length of her sentence.
She has also said she plans to appeal her conviction and maintains her innocence.
Prosecutors urged the judge to reject Maxwell’s pleas for leniency on the grounds that she has suffered in jail while awaiting trial and afterwards.
They have asked for 60-year-old Maxwell to be sentenced to between 30 years and 55 years in prison.
Her defence lawyers have argued she should not spend more than five years in prison and shouldn't be forced to pay for Epstein's crimes.
They claim she has faced death threats and the harsh conditions have caused her to lose hair and weight.
Maxwell’s appearance at trial proved those claims were wrong, prosecutors said, adding: “The defendant is perfectly healthy, with a full head of hair.”
What was she convicted of?
Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other crimes after a month-long trial that featured testimony from four women who said they were abused in their teens.
She was charged with six crimes and was convicted of five of them.
Watch: Ghislaine Maxwell loses bid to overturn sex trafficking conviction - but has maximum sentence cut by 10 years
Her crimes related to her actions in recruiting teenage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
The trial heard the testimony of four women who said they were victimised by Maxwell and Epstein at young ages.
The women said Maxwell gained their trust by giving them presents, taking an interest in them and giving them assurances that Epstein could use his wealth and connections to fulfil their dreams.
They said Maxwell would coax them into giving massages to Epstein, which then turned sexual.
Will it be televised?
Although some court cases in the US are televised Maxwell's sentencing is not.
Her full trial was not televised because she was charged by a federal court rather than a state court.
Video cameras are banned in federal courts in the US.
What was her relationship with Andrew?
Andrew has always denied being a close friend to Maxwell, despite appearing in several photos with her including on Epstein's privately-owned island.
In February he settled the case with Giuffre for a reported millions of dollars.
She had claimed Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17, a minor under US law, after convicted sex offender Epstein trafficked her to England.
Andrew has been challenged about a picture of Giuffre, Andrew and Maxwell, which Giuffre claims to have been taken in London when she was 17. She says she was forced to have sex Andrew on the night the image was taken.
The picture was set to be part of Giuffre's lawsuit against Andrew, before the duke settled the case out of court.
Pressed about the picture during a now-infamous interview with Emily Maitlis on Newsnight interview in 2019, Andrew appeared to cast doubt on its authenticity. He said: “From the investigations that we’ve done, you can’t prove whether or not that photograph is faked or not because it is a photograph of a photograph of a photograph…Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored, but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken.”
There is also a photo of Maxwell and Epstein relaxing on the Balmoral estate thought to have been taken in 1999 when Andrew reportedly invited the couple to stay at the castle.
In an interview in 2019, Andrew told Newsnight that his relationship with Epstein was a product of his long-standing friendship with Maxwell, despite later claiming he never knew her that well.