he former girlfriend of disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has failed in a £21.2 million bid to secure bail ahead of her child sex trafficking trial.
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is currently being held at a federal prison in Brooklyn, New York, as she faces allegations of recruiting teenage girls to be sexually abused.
The 59-year-old was allegedly part of an underage sex ring led by Epstein, who killed himself in prison last August.
Maxwell’s lawyers offered a bail package worth £21.2 million ($28.5m) to secure her release before the trial, including offering for her to be held at a New York home under 24-hour guard and on an electronic tag.
They said Maxwell and her husband’s entire fortune of $22.5m was being offered to secure her release, as well as millions more in assets from friends and family.
But US District Judge Alison J Nathan, who rejected a July bail bid, refused the renewed application, according to court filings released last night.
“On July 14, 2020, this court conducted an extensive bail hearing and determined that pre-trial detention was warranted because the no conditions or set of conditions could reasonably assure the Defendant’s appearance at future proceedings”, the judge wrote.
“The court concludes that none of the new information that the defendant presented in support of her application has a material bearing on the court’s determination that she poses a flight risk.”
The judge added: “Furthermore, for substantially the same reasons as the court determined that detention was warranted in the initial bail hearing, the court again concludes that no conditions of release can reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at future proceedings.”
Epstein was facing a string of sexual abuse claims when he took his own life in prison on August 10 last year.
Maxwell was arrested at a New Hampshire estate in July this year, and she was accused of helping to recruit three teenagers as young as 14-years-old for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997. It is also alleged she sometimes participated in the abuse.
Maxwell’s husband, who has not been publicly identified, was included in the latest bail application in a bid to show her strong ties to the US.
However prosecutors argued her dual citizenship and access to substantial wealth made her a flight risk.
Maxwell has complained about being woken up by prison guards every 15 minutes at night and subjected to unnecessary searches.
The judge’s full reasons for refusing bail again have not yet been published, allowing lawyers time to consider redactions.
Maxwell, who denies all charges, is due to face trial later this year.