Ghislaine Maxwell’s “considerable wealth” and skills “at living in hiding” make her an “extreme risk of flight,” federal prosecutors said Monday in answer to a proposal from Maxwell’s lawyers to let her wait for her trial under home confinement.
Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s madam was arrested on July 2 at a stately home in New Hampshire she bought for $1 million cash under a corporate name to disguise her purchase. She’s charged in a six-count indictment alleging a sex trafficking scheme with Epstein involving three unnamed underaged girls between 1994 and 1997, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
In their filing ahead of Maxwell’s first court appearance on Tuesday, prosecutors said FBI agents had to breach a locked gate to reach the hidden home on 156-acres, guarded by a security company “staffed with former members of the British military” who used a credit card Maxwell gave them to buy what she needed, UPI reported. A guard on site when agents arrived told them Maxwell had not left the property since he began working there, according to the Boston Globe.
Once they reached the house, agents saw Maxwell through a window “ignore the direction to open the door and, instead, try to flee to another room in the house, quickly shutting a door behind her.” Agents were forced to breach the front door the house, and found Maxwell in an interior room, where she was arrested.
While searching the house, agents found a cellphone wrapped in foil in “a seemingly misguided effort to evade detection, not by the press or public, which of course would have no ability to trace her phone or intercept her communications, but by law enforcement,” prosecutors said.
In their filing, prosecutors pointed out that Maxwell holds citizenship in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France — which does not extradite French citizens charged with crimes — and passports from all three countries. And, they said, she had millions of dollars in “dozens” of banks, according to UPI.
“There will be no trial for the victims if the defendant is afforded the opportunity to flee the jurisdiction, and there is every reason to think that is exactly what she will do if she is released,” prosecutors wrote, according to CNN.
Last week, Maxwell’s attorneys proposed a $5 million bond signed by “six financially responsible people” and secured by a $3.75 million property in the United Kingdom. They also proposed surrender of Maxwell’s passports and home confinement with GPS monitoring in New York, along with other conditions.
Prosecutors rejected the proposal.
“Given the gravity of the charged crimes, the defendant’s substantial resources, her willingness to evade detection, and her lies under oath, the Court should take the proposed bail package for what it is worth: nothing,” prosecutors wrote.
They also said that new witnesses have come forward since Maxwell’s arrest, and investigators “have been in touch with additional individuals who have expressed a willingness to provide information regarding the defendant.” The new evidence, they said, “has the potential to make the government’s case even stronger.”
Maxwell’s attorneys have said in court papers that their client “vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence.” the Globe said.
Maxwell, 58, is being held in a federal detention center in Brooklyn.
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[Featured image: Audrey Strauss, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwell on July 2, 2020. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)]