US says Ghislaine Maxwell has been isolated in prison for her safety


NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors have said Ghislaine Maxwell’s safety was one of the main reasons she was isolated from other inmates at Brooklyn Prison where she is being held for facilitating sexual abuse by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein on underage girls.

FILE PHOTO: Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing where she was denied bail for her role helping Jeffrey Epstein recruit and possibly abuse underage girls in Federal Court of Manhattan, in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York, New York, US July 14, 2020 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS / Jane Rosenberg / file photo

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan on Thursday, prosecutors also said it was “premature at best” to demand that they identify three alleged victims named in Maxwell’s indictment. .

Maxwell’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Maxwell, 58, pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and possibly abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997, and committing perjury by denying his involvement under oath.

In a letter dated August 10, Maxwell’s lawyers objected to her being subjected to 24-hour surveillance and numerous body scans at the Metropolitan Detention Center despite being no longer under suicidal surveillance, and stated that she was part of the general population rather than herself. cell 21 hours a day.

Prosecutors said Maxwell was in isolation for reasons of “the safety, security and proper functioning of the institution” and that it was appropriate to closely monitor new detainees facing a “high probability” of many years of imprisonment. jail.

They said, however, that prison officials had agreed to give Maxwell 13 hours a day to review documents relating to his trial scheduled for July 2021, instead of the normal three hours.

Prosecutors also said they acted “quickly” in handing over the documents, and Maxwell may seek the names of the victims and make other requests in December once the discovery is complete.

Epstein was found hanged at age 66 last August in a Manhattan prison, awaiting trial for sex trafficking.

Maxwell is separately asking a federal appeals court to block the release of a separate trial of a 2016 testimony about his sex life, saying the publicity could make a fair trial impossible. Pleadings are scheduled for September 22.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler and Daniel Wallis

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