#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 28 September 2021

Ghislaine Maxwell asks for better prison conditions amid claims of round-the-clock surveillance

Lawyers say she is watched around-the-clock by security cameras and multiple prison guards.

Ghislaine Maxwell (file photo)
Ghislaine Maxwell (file photo)
Image: PA Images

BRITISH SOCIALITE GHISLAINE Maxwell says Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide in prison last year is to blame for the conditions she faces in jail while awaiting trial.

Through her lawyers, the 58-year-old asked a judge to help improve her treatment in a Brooklyn federal lock-up, saying “uniquely onerous conditions” limit her computer access and frustrate her ability to provide for a trial scheduled for next July.

They said she should be housed in the general population at the Metropolitan Detention Centre rather than under restrictions that would limit her time outside her cell to three hours a day.

Maxwell faces charges that she procured teenage girls for Epstein to abuse. She denies the claims.

“As a result of what occurred with Mr Epstein, Ms Maxwell is being treated worse than other similarly situated pretrial detainees, which significantly impacts her ability to prepare a defence and be ready for trial,” the lawyers wrote.

They said she is watched around-the-clock by security cameras and multiple prison guards, including individuals who do not seem to be usual staff workers.

“These prison guards constantly observe Ms Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defence counsel,” they said.

“Until recently, Ms Maxwell was subjected to suicide watch protocols, including being woken up every few hours during the night and being forced to wear special clothing.”

They said this was occurring even though she “has never been suicidal and was never diagnosed as exhibiting risk factors for suicide”.

Her cell is searched multiple times each day and she has been forced to undergo numerous body scans, the lawyers said.

A spokesman for prosecutors declined to comment.

Maxwell is held without bail after US District Judge Alison J Nathan concluded days after her July arrest at a New Hampshire estate that she was a risk to flee.

The lawyers also asked the judge to order prosecutors to reveal the identities of three women whose claims of sexual abuse by Epstein and Maxwell in the 1990s formed the basis of charges against her.

They said they need the identities to properly investigate their allegations of abuse at residences in New York, Florida, New Mexico and the United Kingdom.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

The women were not identified in an indictment in Manhattan federal court that charged Maxwell with recruiting and grooming them for abuse when they were under the age of 18.

The indictment, to which Maxwell has pleaded not guilty, alleges that one victim was 14 when she was recruited.

Maxwell’s lawyers noted that Epstein is alleged to have abused dozens, if not hundreds, of girls and women so it would be hard to guess which women were working with prosecutors.

The judge ordered prosecutors to respond to the letter from defence attorneys Mark Cohen Christian Everdell by Thursday.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons.

About the author:

Press Association

Read next: