Epstein ex Ghislaine Maxwell loses bail bid for 5th time
NEW YORK (AP) — For a fifth time, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell lost a bid Wednesday to be freed on bail prior to a November trial on charges that she recruited teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued a brief order rejecting Maxwell’s latest request. The three-judge panel that issued it did not elaborate.
The appeals court had rejected a bail request once before and her trial judge had thrice said no.
In the latest bail quest, Maxwell’s lawyers asked the appeals court to at least order the lower-court judge to conduct a hearing where evidence related to bail could be shown. The 2nd Circuit rejected that, too.
Maxwell, 59, has been incarcerated since last July. She has pleaded not guilty to charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy that allege she recruited at least four females for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Her trial was recently moved from July to November. Opening statements are scheduled for late in the month.
Epstein killed himself in a federal Manhattan lockup in August 2019 while he awaited a sex trafficking trial.
Maxwell’s lawyers have argued she has been mistreated at a federal jail in Brooklyn, though prosecutors dispute the allegations.
Her lawyers have gradually increased the terms of a proposed bail package, saying Maxwell and friends and family would put up $28.5 million. They also say Maxwell, a U.S. citizen, would agree to 24-hour armed guards, an electronic bracelet and renounce her citizenship in England and France.
David Oscar Markus, Maxwell’s appeals attorney, said in an email that his client “is subjected to more grueling conditions than any other inmate” at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
He described the facility as a “complete disaster” and said Maxwell can’t adequately prepare for trial in a facility where she is awakened every 15 minutes at night when guards shine a light into her cell to check on her.
“We all know the truth — this is due to the Epstein effect. Because Epstein died on the jail’s watch, it has decided to torture Ghislaine. That’s wrong,” Markus said.
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