Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of grooming and abusing underage girls, is woken up every 15 minutes in her jail cell to check that she’s alive, her lawyers wrote in a letter filed on Tuesday.
According to CNN, Maxwell, who is awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, is “in de facto solitary confinement under the most restrictive conditions,” according to her legal team.
Her attorney, Bobbi Sternheim, argued that “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.”
Maxwell’s legal team has requested that US District Judge Alison Nathan order the MDC’s warden to address the court regarding the conditions of her detention. Her lawyers claim she is “excessively and invasively searched” and monitored 24 hours per day, treatment her lawyer argues is more restrictive than prisoners convicted of terrorism or capital murder.
The heightened security measures for Maxwell follow the 2019 death of her former boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges at a different federal facility, Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. Epstein’s death was ruled a suicide.
Maxwell, 58, was arrested on July 2 and charged with recruiting, grooming, and abusing three alleged victims of Epstein, including a girl as young as 14 years old. Maxwell pleaded not guilty to the charges.