Ghislaine Maxwell Woken Up By Torch Light Every 15 Minutes, Lawyer Claims
Ghislaine Maxwell is being woken up every 15 minutes from the light of a torch as guards check she is still 'breathing', her lawyer has claimed.
Maxwell, 48, is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn while she awaits trial, on charges she aided Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of underage girls in the 1990s.
Having pleaded not guilty to the charges, she is being held without bail until a trial in the summer.
The former socialite's lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, argues that Maxwell is facing tougher jail conditions than inmates convicted of murder or terrorism.
Sternheim told a Manhattan judge on Tuesday (24 November) that Maxwell has no history of mental health issues and no criminal history, making no direct reference to Epstein taking his life in his cell last year.
Asking US District Judge Alison J. Nathan to intervene on her client's behalf and improve her conditions, Sternheim said Maxwell is effectively being kept in solitary confinement, and is excessively and invasively monitored 24 hours a day.
Along with video surveillance in her cell, cameras also follow her movements when she is allowed to leave it.
"And despite non-stop in-cell camera surveillance, Ms Maxwell's sleep is disrupted every 15 minutes when she is awakened by a flashlight to ascertain whether she is breathing," Sternheim said in her letter to the judge.
The letter is in response to a filing from federal prosecutors on Monday, informing the judge that Maxwell had a Covid-19 scare following possible exposure to an infected staff member at the Metropolitan Detention Center, and had been placed in quarantine.
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It argued that Maxwell - who tested negative for the virus - had received more favourable treatment than other inmates.
However, Sternheim has countered this by claiming it is the opposite way round, reeling of a lengthy list of complains about Maxwell's conditions.
"Ms. Maxwell has spent the entirely [sic] of her pretrial detention in de facto solitary confinement under the most restrictive conditions where she is excessively and invasively searched and is monitored 24 hours per day," Sternheim said.
The lawyer also claimed Maxwell had been initially quarantined without soap or a toothbrush.
She added: "She is overmanaged under conditions more restrictive than inmates housed in 10South, the most restrictive unit in the MCC; or individuals convicted of terrorism and capital murder and incarcerated at FCI Florence ADMAX, the most restrictive facility operated by the BOP."
Maxwell faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted.
LADbible has contacted Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn for a comment.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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