A U.S. District judge in New York has once again ruled against granting bail for jailed socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of aiding late financier Jeffrey Epstein in the sexual abuse of minors.
Judge Alison Nathan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday rejected Maxwell’s bail request for the second time, having first ruled against her on the subject of bail back in July, CNBC reports. In her order, Nathan referred to the seriousness of the charges Maxwell faces while stating that the socialite is a flight risk due to the wealth at her disposal and the fact that she is a citizen of multiple countries, according to the outlet.
"The Court ... finds that the Defendant's proposed bail conditions would not reasonably assure her appearance at future proceedings,” the ruling reportedly reads.
Maxwell’s latest bail package was valued at $28.5 million and included the entire combined wealth of her and her husband at $22.5 million, in addition to sizable assets of some of her associates and family members, who have remained anonymous, the Associated Press reports.
Maxwell, 59, was arrested in New Hampshire in July and stands accused of aiding late financier Jeffrey Epstein, as well as other wealthy individuals, in the sexual abuse of minors, grooming underage girls and transporting them across state lines for nefarious purposes. The charges she faces include enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury, prosecutors announced earlier this year.
A judge first denied bail for Maxwell shortly after her July arrest, but her legal team requested bail again in recent months, claiming that the conditions of the New York facility that she’s being housed in are unfit. She has been dropping in weight and losing her hair and has been subject to “suicide watch protocols,” which involve being woken up multiple times during the night, her lawyers said in early December. Officials with the Bureau of Prisons say that Maxwell has been afforded the same privileges as any other inmate.
In Maxwell’s latest bid for release on bail, her lawyers argued that she would allow a 24-hour guard to stand watch at her New York City residence and would agree to be monitored electronically, the AP reports. This was not enough to sway Nathan, who the AP reports is expected to release an opinion explaining her decision after Maxwell’s legal team and prosecutors have had a chance to review it and request any redactions.
Maxwell, who remains in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, has pleaded not guilty to the charges she faces. She is expected to stand trial in 2021, according to CNBC.
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