Now Maybe Maxwell Wants to Cut a Deal

She'd have to turn over big names to win a reduced sentence, experts say
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2021 6:55 PM CST
Legal Analysts Consider Maxwell's Chances for a Deal
Ghislaine Maxwell, right, sits with her mask off during a break in her trial earlier this month in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Until her conviction Wednesday on sex trafficking charges, Ghislaine Maxwell didn't see a need to cooperate with investigators. Apparently confident of acquittal, she had told the court that "the government has not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt." Now that Maxwell is awaiting sentencing, legal analysts are weighing whether she wants to provide information in exchange for a shorter prison term, the Guardian reports. She'd probably have to promise famous names to interest the government, experts say. And even then, she'd face obstacles.

"It all depends on who she would be cooperating against, and what she has to offer," said defense lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman. Investigators might want incriminating information about any famous people involved, said Neama Rahmani of West Coast Trial Lawyers, per the Hill, "particularly politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and even an alleged member of the British royal family." A former federal sex crimes prosecutor said, "Prince Andrew may be the next shoe to drop, and it may be the only shoe." The son of Queen Elizabeth II has already been sued by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, who welcomed the verdict in Maxwell's trial.

It's possible that Maxwell has already tried to reach a deal with prosecutors and failed, experts said. There's another issue that's just about Maxwell, not any other possible accomplices. Prosecutors consider some defendants so horrible that they don't want to work side-by-side with them, even in the name of more convictions, Lichtman said. "They don't want to take the hand of someone involved a criminal operation and let them cooperate against people who are well below them," he said. Maxwell will be out of luck, Lichtman said, if prosecutors "feel that she's so bad they won’t allow her to cooperate." (More Ghislaine Maxwell stories.)

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