Ghislaine Maxwell, longtime associate of the accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, speaks at a press conference on oceans and sustainable development at the United Nations in New York on June 25, 2013 in this screenshot from the United Nations TV footage.
UNTV | Reuters
Ghislaine Maxwell wants to be released from prison – and if possible before the holidays.
Maxwell, accused of sexually abusing young girls by eccentric money manager Jeffrey Epstein, asked a judge Friday to schedule a hearing on her upcoming bail request for December 21st, just four days before Christmas.
The British socialist’s attorneys said in a letter to Manhattan Federal Court Judge Allison Nathan that prosecutors had pre-approved that date and a number of deadlines for related litigation.
The letter came a day after Nathan denied defense attorneys’ request to hold an out-of-public conference with them and prosecutors on issues relating to the privacy of individuals who would co-sign a possible release letter for Maxwell, if granted.
Maxwell, who pleaded not guilty on the case, stands a good chance of getting the judge to put bail pending her scheduled trial next summer.
Shortly after Maxwell’s arrest last July, Nathan denied her first application for a $ 5 million bond release, stating that she posed a significant aviation risk because of her French citizenship – France does not extradite citizens – and her considerable wealth.
The judge also cited grave charges that could result in 58-year-old Maxwell being sentenced to up to 35 years in prison.
In addition to allegations related to allegedly recruiting and caring for multiple underage girls for her ex-boyfriend Epstein in the 1990s, Maxwell is charged with perjury for alleged lying during a deposit of a lawsuit filed by an Epstein prosecutor.
Since her first bail hearing, Maxwell has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
The dire conditions of this federal prison are radically different from the luxurious places where she and Epstein once came into contact with former friends such as Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as Britain’s Prince Andrew and other wealthy individuals.
Maxwell has been in quarantine since last week because she was exposed to a prison worker who tested positive for the coronavirus. She tested negative for Covid-19, prosecutors said in a court case.
Her lawyers have repeatedly complained about the restrictions on Maxwell, stating that they are stricter than those on the accused terrorists and that it will negatively affect their ability to prepare for the trial.
In a court case in late November, Maxwell’s attorney found that her sleep was disrupted by a security guard’s flashlight every 15 minutes to confirm that she was breathing.
The federal prison office that runs this prison has been heavily criticized since August 2019 when Epstein died of what was officially classified as a suicide by hanging in the Manhattan federal prison cell where he was held for sex with children for charges human trafficking.
Epstein’s death came just weeks after his first apparent suicide attempt in this prison, where he was held after another judge denied his request for $ 100 million bail.
Two guards assigned to monitor Epstein – and a number of other inmates in a special shelter – were arrested on federal charges the night of his death in November after prosecutors said they had tried to hide the fact that they were not being monitored Prisoners.
These guards, Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, are charged with signing several false certificates stating that they required the number of inmates and walks. Instead, Thomas and Noel surfed the internet and appeared to have slept about two hours the night Epstein died.