NEW YORK, June 28 —Ghislaine Maxwell's sentencing hearing for helping sex offender and globetrotting financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls kicked off today.

Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of at least 30 years for Maxwell, 60, who was convicted in December of recruiting and grooming girls to have sexual encounters with Epstein, then her boyfriend, between 1994 and 2004.

US Circuit Judge Alison Nathan will sentence the British socialite at the conclusion of the hearing in Manhattan federal court. Two of the victims who testified at her trial, Annie Farmer and a woman known as "Kate," are expected to make statements at the hearing.

Maxwell's monthlong trial was widely seen as the reckoning that Epstein - who killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at age 66 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial - never had.

It was one of the highest-profile cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse, often at the hands of wealthy and powerful people.

In often emotional and explicit testimony during the trial, Farmer, Kate, and two other women testified that Maxwell was a central figure in their abuse by Epstein. — Reuters