US prosecutors say Ghislaine Maxwell is being held in isolation in a Brooklyn jail for her own safety and the "orderly" function of the penitentiary. The statement comes days after the 58-year-old complained about the conditions she is being held in describing them as "onerous". In addition, Maxwell and her legal team said she is treated "worse" than other pretrial detainees. Her lawyers have demanded that Maxwell be "released to the general population and be granted the privileges given to other pretrial detainees".
"She continues to be surveilled 24 hours a day by security cameras and by multiple prison guards, many of whom do not appear to be regular MDC [Metropolitan Detention Centre] personnel. These prison guards constantly observe Ms Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defence counsel", Maxwell's attorneys said in a motion.
Maxwell's team also noted that her cell is searched multiple times a day and she is forced to undergo numerous body scans. Such conditions, claim Maxwell's lawyers, hinders her ability to prepare for defence, noting that, unlike Jeffrey Epstein, their client is not suicidal.
Prosecutors, however, dismissed their proposal. "For reasons including safety, the defendant should not be fully integrated into the dorm-style accommodations of the general population", said Assistant Manhattan Attorney Alex Rossmiller. He noted that Maxwell will be put in the general population "if and when BOP [Federal Bureau of Prisons] is assured that such placement would not pose a threat to the orderly operation of the institution".
Who is Ghislaine Maxwell
Daughter of British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell, she reportedly met Jeffrey Epstein in the 1980s and the two had a romantic relationship for several years, but even after their break-up the two remained close. Maxwell is said to have introduced Epstein to many powerful people, including to Prince Andrew and former US President Bill Clinton.
According Epstein's alleged victims Maxwell worked as a pimp for the financier – luring young women, offering them jobs as a masseuse or personal assistants to the billionaire. Unsealed court documents from previous cases against Maxwell and Epstein purportedly revealed that in some cases Maxwell too took part in the abuse.
Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges of running a sex trafficking network of minors, but he didn't live to see the trial. On 10 August, he hanged himself in a prison cell. This caused anger among his alleged victims, especially when it became known that the financier, who rubbed shoulders with prime ministers, presidents, and royals, was previously put on suicide watch and that the guards tasked with checking on him failed to do so and fell asleep.
Thus, Ghislaine Maxwell is the only person, who can shed light on the crimes allegedly committed by Epstein and possibly his powerful friends.