Ghislaine Maxwell is being held in “particularly onerous conditions” in a federal prison in New York, where she is subject to 24-hour surveillance and numerous body scans, her lawyers argued in a new court case.
Maxwell has been locked up in the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center since early July for recruiting and treating girls as young as 14 to be abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein died by suicide last summer while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking, and Maxwell’s lawyers say the Prisons Office treats her worse than other inmates.
“It has become evident that the BOP’s treatment of Ms Maxwell is a reaction to the circumstances surrounding Mr Epstein’s pre-trial detention and death,” the court filing said Monday evening.
Maxwell wants to be removed from solitary confinement and placed in the general prison population so she can prepare for her next trial, the record says.Let our news meet your inbox. The news and the stories that matter, delivered on weekday mornings.
Maxwell’s attorneys say she is under 24-hour surveillance “by security cameras and several prison guards, many of whom do not appear to be regular MDC staff.”
“These prison guards constantly observe Ms. Maxwell and take notes on every one of her activities, including her telephone conversations with defense attorney,” the file reads.
Her cell is searched several times a day and she has been forced to undergo multiple body scans, according to her lawyers.
She was recently taken off suicide watch, during which she was woken up every few hours at night and forced to wear special clothes, her lawyers said.
“SP. Maxwell is not asking the MDC for special treatment; but she asks that she not be particularly disadvantaged in her treatment in detention, in particular when it comes to preparing her defense for a conduct which would have taken place more than 25 years ago, ”indicates the file.
The Prisons Bureau declined to comment on the court record.
“For reasons of confidentiality, safety and security, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) does not disclose any information on the conditions of detention of a detainee,” said a spokesperson.
Maxwell, a longtime Epstein confidant, was arrested on July 2 at a remote New Hampshire mansion. Prosecutors say she helped the disgraced financier sexually abuse young girls in the mid-1990s and participated in some of the abuse herself. She pleaded not guilty.
In the same court file, Maxwell’s lawyers asked the judge to force the government to disclose the identities of the three alleged victims mentioned in the indictment.
“So that Ms Maxwell and the defense attorney can truly investigate the alleged conduct, which is now over 25 years old,” the record reads.
The file goes on to note that the alleged misconduct has taken place in several locations – including New York, Florida, New Mexico and the United Kingdom – and that Epstein has been charged with sexually abusing dozens, or even hundreds, of alleged victims.
“The defense should not have to speculate on which of these people are victims 1 to 3 mentioned in the indictment,” the file says.