(Bloomberg) -- U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan rules in the sentencing hearing for Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite convicted of engaging in a sex-trafficking scheme with Jeffrey Epstein, that she must apply the sentencing guidelines in place at the time the offense was committed. The judge says that applying the current guidelines would result in a “significantly longer sentence” than she would get under the ones that were in place when the crime happened.

Nathan adds that calculating a sentence for Maxwell hinges on whether there’s any evidence that shows criminal conduct continued after Nov. 1, 2004. The judge says there isn’t evidence to support the higher guidelines sought by prosecutors, which means the court will sentence Maxwell under the more lenient guidelines calculation. 

Maxwell’s lawyers have argued that since the criminal conspiracy she was convicted ended “in or about 2004,” she should be sentenced under earlier US sentencing guidelines. The defense says that would drastically reduce her sentence, driving it down to between 14 years to a little over 17 1/2 years. Maxwell’s defense team has asked for a prison term of just 51 months to 63 months.

Prosecutors have argued that she be sentenced under more recent sentencing guidelines, meaning she should face a term of between more than 24 years to more than 30 years. Finally, US probation officials have apparently told the judge that Maxwell could face a term of 292 months to 360 months, but said she should only get a term of 20 years.

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