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Crime News

Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyers Complain About ‘Uniquely Onerous Conditions’ In Solitary Confinement

The British socialite's lawyers have claimed that she’s being treated worse than other detainees due to her ties to Jeffrey Epstein and the circumstances surrounding his suicide in the same facility.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Ghislaine Maxwell Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Trafficking Charges

Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell want her removed from solitary confinement, arguing in recently filed court documents that she is being treated unfairly due to her association with Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell, 58, has been accused of grooming underage girls for Epstein and other wealthy men who would then sexually abuse them. As she awaits trial in Brooklyn, New York on various sex-related charges, she is being treated worse than other detainees at the Metropolitan Detention Center and is being subjected to “uniquely onerous conditions,” her lawyers said in a new court filing, according to CNBC.

“Maxwell does not seek special treatment at the MDC; but she does ask that she not be specially disfavored in her treatment in detention, especially when it comes to preparing her defense to conduct that allegedly took place over 25 years ago,” the filing reads.

Until recently, Maxwell had been made to endure “suicide watch protocols,” which consisted of being woken up multiple times in the middle of the night and made to wear what her lawyers referred to as “special clothing.” She is currently still being watched at all hours of the day and night by surveillance cameras, in addition to frequent checks by security guards; of those guards, many of them “do not appear to be regular MDC personnel,” the filing reportedly reads.

“These prison guards constantly observe Ms. Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defense counsel,” the filing reads.

Maxwell has also been forced to endure frequent searches of her cell on a daily basis as well as body scans, her lawyers said.

Maxwell, who is being held without bond, is currently being kept alone, but her lawyers want her released into the general population so that she can better prepare for trial. They are also asking that she be afforded more computer time. Her lawyers claim that her current treatment has hindered her ability to adequately build her case.

“Maxwell has been treated less favorably than a typical pretrial detainee, and this has impacted her ability to assist in her defense,” the filing reads.

Following her arrest in New Hampshire last month, Maxwell was charged with enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, conspiracy to commit the aforementioned offenses, and perjury. The British socialite stands accused of grooming and abusing girls as young as 14 years old.

“Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, and then delivered them into the trap that she and Jeffrey Epstein had set,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. “She pretended to be a woman they could trust.  All the while, she was setting them up to be abused sexually by Epstein and, in some cases, Maxwell herself.”

Maxwell entered a not guilty plea to the charges against her last month.

In their recent filings, Maxwell’s lawyers asked that the court order prosecutors to release the names of the three victims referred to in the indictment so that she can prepare her defense, NBC News reports. The filing also suggested that her current treatment while in custody is due to her connections to Epstein, who was found dead in his cell, having hanged himself on Aug. 10, 2019. He was facing various charges related to child sex crimes.

“It has become apparent that the [Bureau of Prison’s] treatment of Ms. Maxwell is a reaction to the circumstances surrounding the pretrial detention and death of Mr. Epstein,” the filing reads, according to CNBC.

Maxwell, however, “has never been suicidal and was never diagnosed as exhibiting risk factors for suicide,” her lawyers wrote, according to the New York Post.

The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the claims when approached for comment by NBC News.

“For privacy, safety, and security reasons, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) does not release information on an individual inmate's conditions of confinement,” a spokesperson told the outlet.

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