Ghislaine Maxwell, in quarantine in a Brooklyn federal jail due to coronavirus exposure, has endured a flashlight shined in her cell every 15 minutes while she sleeps, according to her defense attorney.
The new details from Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim came in response to the government’s claim the British socialite was still able to prepare a defense while in quarantine for at least 14 days at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of grooming victims of Jeffrey Epstein in the mid-1990s.
“The government highlights what Ms. Maxwell is permitted but not what she is denied: equal treatment accorded other inmates in general population. Ms. Maxwell has spent the entirely of her pretrial detention in de facto solitary confinement under the most restrictive conditions where she is excessively and invasively searched and is monitored 24 hours per day. In addition to camera surveillance in her cell, a supplemental camera follows her movement when she is permitted to leave her isolation cell,” Sternheim wrote.
“Despite non-stop in-cell camera surveillance, Ms. Maxwell’s sleep is disrupted every 15-minutes when she is awakened by a flashlight to ascertain whether she is breathing.”
An MDC Brooklyn staffer who had contact with Maxwell tested positive for coronavirus last week, prompting her transfer to quarantine. Prosecutors said Maxwell tested negative for COVID, but her attorney says she still doesn’t know the results of additional coronarivus tests.
“Medical and psychology staff, who checked on Ms. Maxwell daily pre-quarantine, have ceased doing so daily since quarantine and have neither informed her of results of the COVID tests nor provided information in response to her inquiry regarding what she should do if she becomes symptomatic,” Sternheim wrote.
“Ms. Maxwell is a non-violent, exemplary pretrial detainee with no criminal history, no history of violence, no history of mental health issues or suicidal ideation.”
Maxwell has previously claimed jail staff are going overboard to prevent her from killing herself like Epstein. She’s being held in conditions more harsh than ones for accused terrorists awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, or the most dangerous inmates in the federal prison system held at the supermax prison on Colorado, her attorneys argued. Sternheim asked a judge to order the MDC warden provide a report on the conditions of Maxwell’s detention.