U.S. defends how it treats detained Ghislaine Maxwell

Charges are announced against Ghislaine Maxwell for her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein in New York City, New York, U.S.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that Ghislaine Maxwell is being treated the same as other inmates at her Brooklyn jail, denying her lawyers’ claim she was subjected to overly restrictive conditions.

As Maxwell prepared a new bail application, the bureau’s lawyers said in a letter released on Monday that the 58-year-old British socialite “remains in good health” despite a COVID-19 outbreak at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Since July, Maxwell has been jailed when she pleaded not guilty to helping the late financier Jeffrey Epstein recruit and abuse underage girls in the 1990s and lying under oath about her role.

Lawyers for the prison bureau said Maxwell is served three regular meals a day and keeps her weight around 134 pounds (61 kg).

They said she has access to recreation, computers, and TV, can work on her defense for much of the day, and makes her allotted eight hours a month of social calls.

Maxwell’s lawyers had complained of unequal treatment, saying she has been “unreasonably and invasively searched” and woken up every 15 minutes to ensure she was still alive.

In response, the letter said inmates “are subject to searches, including body scanners,” and that Brooklyn jail officials check cells overnight with flashlights “to ensure inmates are still breathing and not in distress.”

Tuesday, Maxwell’s lawyers must submit a new bail application to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan.

The judge had denied bail on July 14, agreeing with prosecutors that Maxwell posed a real flight risk.

Since her July 2 arrest at a New Hampshire home where prosecutors said she had been hiding, Maxwell has been in custody. She faces up to 35 years in prison. Her trial is scheduled for mid-2021.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The case is the U.S. v. Maxwell, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 20-cr-00330.

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