Federal prosecutors have said Ghislaine Maxwell is in isolation for her own safety as they reject claims from her lawyers that she is being treated worse than other inmates at the Brooklyn jail where she is being held.
Prosecutors rejected claims yesterday that she is being treated ‘worse’ than other inmates at the Brooklyn jail she is held on charges she facilitated late financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls.
In an Aug. 10 letter, Maxwell’s lawyers objected to her being subjected to round-the-clock surveillance and numerous body scans at the Metropolitan Detention Center despite no longer being on suicide watch, and said she belongs in the general population rather than in her cell 21 hours a day.
Prosecutors said Maxwell was isolated for reasons of ‘safety, security, and the orderly functioning of the facility,’ and that it was appropriate to closely monitor new inmates facing a ‘strong likelihood’ of many years in prison.
Maxwell’s lawyers say she is being subjected to round-the-clock surveillance and numerous body scans at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn
Maxwell wants to be moved into general population and allowed more computer time so she can prepare a defense to claims she helped friend Jeffrey Epstein traffick girls for sex (file)
They nonetheless said jail officials agreed to give Maxwell 13 hours a day to review materials for her scheduled July 2021 trial, rather than the normal three hours.
Prosecutors also said they have acted ‘expeditiously’ in turning over materials, and Maxwell can request victims’ names and make other motions in December after discovery is finished.
In a letter on Thursday to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan, prosecutors also said it was ‘at best premature’ to require they identify three alleged victims named in Maxwell’s indictment.
Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Maxwell is complaining about conditions inside the jail where she is being kept ahead of her sex crimes trial.
The 58-year-old British socialite was recently taken off suicide watch, but is being subjected to multiple searches each day and is under constant watch of the guards, her lawyers said.
The searches and surveillance should be stopped, her lawyers said, while requesting that she be be taken out of solitary confinement and placed in with other prisoners.
Ghislaine Maxwell is complaining about being kept in solitary confinement and under constant surveillance at a ‘hell-hole’ Brooklyn jail (seen in a recent court sketch)
Her legal team say she is only being subjected to the ‘onerous’ conditions because friend Jeffrey Epstein died while awaiting trial, in what was ruled a suicide.
They argue that she ‘has never been suicidal and was never diagnosed as exhibiting risk factors for suicide,’ but is still woken up every few hours during the night and forced to wear special clothing.
She has also been forced to undergo body scans, lawyer Chris Everdell wrote in a letter seen by the New York Post, and is observed even while calling her attorneys.
‘Ms. Maxwell is being treated worse than other similarly situated pretrial detainees, which significantly impacts her ability to prepare a defense,’ he said.
His letter asks that Maxwell ‘be released to the general population and be granted the privileges given to other pretrial detainees’.
Everdell also requested for her to be given more computer time in order to review the reams of documents relating to her case.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997, and committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.
Epstein was found hanged at age 66 last August in a Manhattan jail, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell is separately asking a federal appeals court to block the release from a separate lawsuit of a 2016 deposition about her sex life, saying publicity could make getting a fair trial impossible. Oral arguments are scheduled for Sept. 22.