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Alleged Jeffrey Epstein madam Ghislaine Maxwell will seek bail

Ghislaine Maxwell speaks at the Arctic Circle Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland October 2013.

The Arctic Circle via Reuters

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of procuring young girls to be abused by sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, will again seek bail in her criminal case, and wants related court hearings conducted out of sight of reporters, victims and the public, federal prosecutors revealed Wednesday.

Maxwell, 58, has been held without bail in a Brooklyn federal jail since shortly after her arrest in July, when a judge ruled that she was a substantial flight risk. Maxwell’s lawyers that month had asked that she be freed on a $5 million bond.

In a Manhattan federal court filing, prosecutors said Maxwell is expected to file a “renewed application for bail.”

And her lawyers are asking for “sealing and for an in camera hearing in connection” with that application, prosecutors wrote. Such a hearing would bar members of the public from attending.

Prosecutors in their filing objected to a sealed hearing “to discuss further sealing requests from the judge.”

They noted that any request to seal the names of people, such as individuals who might co-sign Maxwell’s bail, “can be made in writing with narrowly tailored redactions.”

Prosecutors said that in light of that option they saw no reason to have a hearing “conducted without the opportunity for the public or the victims in this case to observe.”

“Indeed, given that crime victims have a statutory right to be present and heard at any proceeding regarding the defendant’s ‘release’ … the Government would object to any proceeding addressing aspects of a renewed bail application that was conducted entirely in camera,” the filing said.

The prosecutors’ letter refers to sealed filings made earlier this week by Maxwell’s lawyer about the bail effort and sealing requests.

Maxwell as of last week was in quarantine in jail because of her exposure to a staffer who tested positive for the coronavirus. She tested negative for Covid-19, prosecutors said in an earlier filing.

Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Last week, Sternheim complained to Judge Alison Nathan that Maxwell is being “overmanaged” by staff in the jail, which includes having her sleep interrupted every 15 minutes by guards with a flashlight checking to see whether she is still breathing.

Sternheim also said Maxwell is not being given enough time to review documents related to her criminal case and to “prepare the defense of her life.”

Nathan on Wednesday ordered lawyers for the Metropolitan Detention Center, the facility where Maxwell is detained, to respond to Sternheim’s concerns by Friday.

Maxwell faces charges related to her alleged recruitment and grooming of several underage girls to be sexually abused by the wealthy money-manager Epstein in the 1990s.

She also is charged with perjury for allegedly falsely denying during a civil deposition her awareness of sexual misconduct by her former boyfriend Epstein and her purported role in it.

She was arrested almost exactly a year to the day after Epstein’s own arrest on federal child sex trafficking charges, at a million-dollar hideaway in New Hampshire.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty in the case. She is due to go on trial next July.

Epstein, who had been a friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, died from what has officially been ruled a suicide by hanging in a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019. He previously pleaded guilty in 2008 to Florida state crimes, which included paying for sexual services from an underage girl.

Read More: Alleged Jeffrey Epstein madam Ghislaine Maxwell will seek bail

2020-12-02 15:57:16

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