Ghislaine Maxwell Plans to Seek New Bail Hearing, U.S. Says
(Bloomberg) -- Ghislaine Maxwell, who faces sex-trafficking charges tied to her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, intends to renew her request for release from a federal lockup by seeking a non-public bail hearing, prosecutors said.
U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan rejected Maxwell’s previous bid to be freed on $5 million bail, ruling there was a substantial risk that the British socialite would flee the country. Her lawyers have filed a series of requests with the judge recently related to her treatment at the federal jail in Brooklyn, New York.
The defense filings are likely a prelude to a new request by Maxwell for bail hearing held “in camera,” or out of the presence of the public, prosecutor Maurene Comey said in a letter to the judge. “The government sees no reason for an entire hearing to be conducted without the opportunity for the public or the victims in this case to observe,” she said.
Maxwell is accused of helping Epstein sexually abuse underage girls. She has pleaded not guilty.
In one of the recent filings with the judge, defense lawyer Bobbi Sternheim complained Maxwell was being held in “de-facto solitary” confinement that was more restrictive than conditions for terrorists at the federal prison in Florence, Colorado.
Maxwell’s lawyers recently complained she has had to endure weekly body scans, is checked with a flashlight every 15 minutes during the night and had to undergo open-mouth inspections even though she’s under surveillance 24 hours a day by a three-guard security detail and two cameras.
Defense lawyers have asked Nathan to question the Brooklyn warden, Heriberto Tellez. The government said Tellez should appear before the court to address concerns about the conditions of Maxwell’s confinement.
U.S. prison officials were criticized last year for their handling of Epstein, who was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 in what authorities later concluded was a suicide.
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