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Thursday, August 27, 2020

August 27, 2020
image: FilmMagic via Dailymail

Ghislaine Maxwell has lost her bid to be transferred out of solitary confinement and into general population as she awaits trial inside a 'hell-hole' Brooklyn prison.

On Tuesday, Judge Alison J. Nathan denied the request from Jeffrey Epstein's alleged madam after her lawyers argued that she is unable to properly prepare for trial due to being monitored 24/7.

The judge also rejected a request by Maxwell's lawyers for prosecutors to disclose the identities of three alleged victims who claim to have been sexually abused by Epstein and Maxwell when they were underage.

Judge Nathan called the disclosure of the identities 'premature' as the case isn't scheduled to go to trial until next year.

Maxwell previously complained about conditions inside the Brooklyn jail where she is being kept ahead of her trial.

The 58-year-old British socialite was taken off suicide watch earlier this month but is being searched multiple times each day and is under constant watch of the guards, her lawyers said.

Her lawyers said in a letter to the judge on August 10 that the searches and surveillance should be stopped.

'Ms. Maxwell has been treated less favorably than a typical pretrial detainee, and this has impacted her ability to assist in her defense,' the lawyers wrote. 'It has become apparent that the BOP's treatment of Ms. Maxwell is a reaction to the circumstances surrounding the pretrial detention and death of Mr. Epstein.'

The letter stated that because of 'what occurred with Mr. Epstein, Ms. Maxwell is being treated worse than other similarly situated pretrial detainees, which significantly impacts her ability to prepare a defense and be ready for trial.'

Her legal team said in the letter that she is only being subjected to the 'onerous' conditions because friend Epstein died while awaiting trial, in what was ruled a suicide.

Her lawyers claim she has been under constant surveillance by prison psychologists who have been evaluating her for hours without her consent and has also been forced to undergo body scans.

'She continues to be surveilled 24 hours a day by security cameras and by multiple prison guards, many of whom do not appear to be regular MDC personnel,' the lawyers wrote. 'These prison guards constantly observe Ms. Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defense counsel.'

The letter asked that Maxwell 'be released to the general population and be granted the privileges given to other pretrial detainees'.

It also requested for her to be given more computer time in order to review the reams of documents relating to her case.

The judge did alter her confinement to allow Maxwell access to discovery materials 13 hours a day, seven days a week.

Further, his team asked that she be given the names of three anonymous women who are accusing her of grooming and abusing them, but the judge denied that request as well.

Her lawyers argued, 'Maxwell cannot prepare for or receive a fair trial without this information,' but the judge disagreed.
Court documents filed Tuesday show the judge denied request to disclose victims' identities and called it 'premature' as the case isn't scheduled to go to trial until next year

Jeffrey Epstein was initially charged with sex trafficking in Florida in 2006, before being hit with a 53-page FBI indictment the following year.

In 2008, he was offered a controversial plea deal that saw him sentenced to 18 months in prison for soliciting underage prostitutes.

He was then rearrested in July 2019 and charged with sex trafficking, when he was moved to a maximum security jail in Manhattan.

On August 10 he was found unconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck and later died in what was officially ruled a suicide.

Epstein had been on suicide watch but was taken off just days before his death, on the condition that he be placed with a cellmate and constantly monitored.

But the day before his body was found his cellmate was moved out and not replaced, and guards failed to carry out checks on him.

Maxwell, who is accused of acting as Epstein's 'madam' by finding him young women to abuse and then 'training' them to comply with his desires, was arrested on July 2 at a mansion she owned in New Hampshire.

The socialite - who once mixed with celebrities, presidents and royalty at high-class parties - was moved on July 6 to Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center, once described by a judge as 'like a third-world country'

Guards at the jail, which is different to the one where Jeffrey Epstein died last year, have been jailed for raping female prisoners, while the jail also lost power for an entire week during winter last year - leaving inmates locked in freezing, dark cells.

In total Maxwell is facing six counts - four relating to child sex trafficking, and two of perjury for lying under oath about the trafficking during a previous lawsuit.

If convicted on all charges, she is facing up to 35 years behind bars.

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