Ghislaine Maxwell wants out of jail.
The British socialite and Jeffrey Epstein associate has filed three motions for bail and 12 pretrial release motions since she was arrested in New Hampshire in July 2020, according to new court documents. Maxwell’s legal team has thus far claimed her detention in a Brooklyn jail is damaging to her health and impeding her ability to prepare for her trial.
And now, they claim it is sexist.
In an appeal to the rejection of her third attempt at bail, Maxwell’s attorney lists a slew of notable men who faced comparable charges and were released on bail, including Bernie Madoff, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, among others.
“The truth is that wealthy men charged with similar or more serious offenses, many of whom have foreign ties, are routinely granted bail so that they can effectively prepare for trial,” the filing said. “Ms. Maxwell is entitled to the same opportunity as male defendants to prepare her defense.”
Maxwell faces charges related to sex trafficking of minors during her time working for financier Epstein, who was arrested in July 2019 on sex charges and was later found dead of suicide in his jail cell. Maxwell is accused of procuring and grooming four girls who were allegedly abused by Epstein between the years 1994 and 2001 and of participating in the alleged abuse of one of the girls.
She faces two perjury charges as well.
Throughout her most recent appeal, Maxwell’s legal team refers to the “Epstein Effect,” suggesting the public outrage over Epstein’s alleged crimes and subsequent death have “clouded the judgment of the prosecutors into charging Ms. Maxwell because it needed a scapegoat.”
In addition to suggesting that her detainment is sexist, Maxwell’s lawyer said his client is enduring “horrific conditions” inside the jail, calling the environment “Kafkaesque” and “fitting for Hannibal Lecter.”
Her attorney writes that Maxwell is “being kept awake all night to make sure she does not commit suicide, even though nothing suggests she is a suicide risk” and that she is “being stuck in de facto” solitary confinement due to COVID-19 safety measures. She is also apparently having her every move videotaped and must use a “gutted” computer that doesn’t have the ability to search, edit, or print in order to review millions of pages of discovery evidence.
They also allege that she has not been provided consistently edible food or drinkable water.
Maxwell’s legal team argues that these conditions have hindered her ability to effectively prepare for her trial, currently scheduled for July. Federal prosecutors filed an additional indictment earlier this week, alleging a fourth victim was abused more recently, from 2001 to 2004. According to the Miami Herald, the new indictment has left her team frustrated, arguing that new charges so close to her trial are “shocking, unfair, and an abuse of power.” The outlet reported the new charges could potentially push back the trial.
If convicted, Maxwell could face decades in prison, a possibility that prosecutors argue makes Maxwell a flight risk in conjunction with her familial wealth and English and French citizenship.
In her previous bids for bail, Maxwell offered up $28.5 million in money and assets belonging to her and her family and friends. She’s also offered to renounce her citizenship and stay confined to a New York residence with her lawyer.
All her attempts have thus far been rejected by the presiding judge, US District Judge Alison Nathan.
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