Ghislaine Maxwell's legal team alleges their client is not being treated the same way that other pretrial detainees are, Fox News reports.
In a letter written to the federal judge overseeing the case, Maxwell's attorneys asked for their client to be released into the Metropolitan Detention Center’s general population so she can “meaningfully participate in her own defense."
Maxwell faces charges of recruiting teenage girls for her confidante financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse. She faces six counts of sex trafficking involving minors between 1994 and 1997. She has pleaded not guilty. Her trial is scheduled to begin in July 2021.
In the letter to Judge Alison J. Nathan, the socialite’s attorneys write that Maxwell has been “treated less favorably than a typical pretrial detainee.”
They point out that she has been “subject to suicide watch protocols” that include being “woken up every few hours during the night and being forced to wear special clothing.”
They note that Maxwell has never been a risk for suicide. They say she has likely been kept out of general population for 36 days because of Epstein’s “apparent suicide attempt” in July 2019. Epstein was later ruled to have committed suicide in his jail cell.
According to the letter, Maxwell is under surveillance 24 hours a day by security cameras that are viewed by both "multiple prison guards, many of whom do not appear to be regular MDC personnel.”
Her lawyers write that she has been “held under uniquely onerous conditions.”
“These prison guards constantly observe Ms. Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defense counsel,” the letter states.
The letter alleges that Maxwell’s Sixth Amendment right to participate in her own defense is being infringed on.
Maxwell’s lawyers end the letter stating they don’t want any special treatment for their client, but “she does ask that she not be specially disfavored” prior to her trial.
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