Fight over Ghislaine Maxwell’s jail situations heats up

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NEW YORK (AP) — The rancorous struggle over jail situations for Ghislaine Maxwell is reaching new lows, with prosecutors blaming the British socialite and Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend for making a stink by failing to flush her bathroom and her lawyer saying her well being is declining in a facility so mucky that even her salad has mould in it.

The newest trade in letters to a Manhattan federal courtroom choose got here this week because the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled oral arguments for late April on Maxwell’s enchantment of her thrice-rejected software to be freed on bail earlier than her July 12 intercourse trafficking trial.

Maxwell has been at a Brooklyn federal jail since her July arrest on fees she recruited three teenage ladies for Epstein to sexually abuse within the 1990s. Charges have been not too long ago expanded to allege the intercourse trafficking of women for Epstein to abuse within the early 2000s. Maxwell has pleaded not responsible.

Attorney Bobbi Sternheim wrote in a letter late Wednesday that an effort by prosecutors “to publicly embarrass and humiliate Ms. Maxwell in the hostile court of public opinion further erodes the likelihood that her case will be tried by a fair and impartial jury.”

She says Maxwell has been mistreated, including over 1,400 physical searches and flashlight checks to ensure she’s breathing every 15 minutes while she sleeps, as jail officials overreact to Epstein’s August 2019 self-inflicted death in a Manhattan jail as he awaited trial on sex charges.

The letter came a day after prosecutors got specific about Maxwell’s jail conditions as they refuted claims Sternheim made in February that her 59-year-old client was “withering to a shell of her former self — losing weight, losing hair, and losing her ability to concentrate.”

Sternheim had additionally alleged that Maxwell was physically abused when she was shoved into her cell by a guard prior to a pat-down search and then was retaliated against for reporting it when she was ordered to clean, sanitize and scrub the walls of a shower.

In their letter, prosecutors said an investigation of the pat-down search complaint proved Maxwell’s complaint unfounded.

They wrote that Maxwell was directed to clean her cell, not in retaliation, but because it had become “very dirty.” They famous that Maxwell “steadily didn’t flush her bathroom after utilizing it, which triggered the cell to odor.”

Prosecutors mentioned jail employees reported Maxwell, absolutely vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus, to be bodily wholesome.

They mentioned the jail’s medical employees monitor the 5-foot-7 Maxwell each day and weigh her weekly, discovering her weight fluctuates between the 130s and the 140s, regular for her top. They mentioned employees has not noticed any noticeable hair loss.

In Wednesday’s letter, Sternheim criticized the federal government, calling it “debatable whether the public has a ‘right to know’ about Ms. Maxwell’s conditions of confinement.” She mentioned prosecutors violated her consumer’s privateness rights by releasing medical data associated to weight and vaccination standing.

“She is weighed while clothed on scales that are erratic and not set to zero,” Sternheim mentioned. “Her eyesight is failing, and her hair is thinning. The guards are far from qualified to assess Ms. Maxwell’s physical condition.”

As for Maxwell’s bathroom, Sternheim mentioned her consumer avoids utilizing it in a cell intently noticed by video and guards however flushes it steadily, as directed by guards, to assist alleviate a stench from overflowing bathrooms within the cellblock above.

“Blaming Ms. Maxwell for the filth of her severely restricted environment is utterly misplaced. To suggest she willingly lives in squalor is absurd,” the lawyer mentioned.

Sternheim mentioned the constructing the place Maxwell is held is permeated with mould and vermin, and even a salad she was given earlier this week had mould in it.

“Cockroaches and rodents are plentiful and glue tracks have been placed in Ms. Maxwell’s day area to help remediate the problem,” she mentioned.

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