A day after U.S. prosecutors disclosed that Ghislaine Maxwell had been exposed to Covid-19 in the federal lockup in Brooklyn, New York, while awaiting trial, her lawyers complained that she has spent the entirety of he pretrial detention in “de facto solitary confinement.”
The British socialite is being held under conditions that are “more restrictive” than measures in place for terrorists in the federal “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said in a letter to a judge Tuesday. She asked the judge to order Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn Warden Heriberto Tellez to report to the court about the conditions of Maxwell’s detention.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan directed Maxwell’s lawyers and prosecutors to meet and discuss the request for Tellez’s appearance and let her know what they decide within a week.
Sternheim also complained in the letter that Maxwell has been subjected to “non-stop, in-cell camera surveillance” and her sleep is disrupted every 15 minutes when staff check on her.
While jail staff aren’t supposed to enter Maxwell’s isolation cell during quarantine, Sternheim said an unidentified man entered to take photographs and a guard searched the cell.
Maxwell is charged with sex-trafficking underage girls in a scheme tied to former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in Manhattan in August 2019, a month after he was arrested and charged with sex-trafficking. Authorities later ruled he hanged himself.
The case is U.S. v. Maxwell, 20-cr-330, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).