Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorney argued Monday in a New York court that the accused sex trafficker needs bail as she is being deprived of sleep behind bars, making it impossible for them to prepare for her trial.
Lawyer David Markus claimed guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center shine a flashlight into Maxwell’s cell every 15 minutes to ensure she has not harmed herself. Markus said the arrangement has made it impossible for him and Maxwell, 59, to prepare for the July 12 trial, according to the New York Post.
Markus also alleged that Maxwell uses a sock or towel in lieu of a facemask. However, prosecutors said Maxwell was given a facemask and asserted that the 15-minute checks are “routine.”
The three-judge panel appeared skeptical of the prosecution’s claims.
“It’s routine to shine a light to the eyes of every prisoner? Are you really telling us that?” Judge Pierre Leval asked, per the Post.
Maxwell remains jailed without bail following her July 2 arrest in Bradford, New Hampshire. She is accused of grooming at least three underage girls, as young as 14, for the late Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997. She has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other related charges.
According to Reuters, Maxwell has been denied bail three times and has appealed a judge’s decision to reject a $28.5 million bail arrangement that also entailed her renouncing her French and British citizenships.
Maxwell has also sought to have her high-profile trial delayed until November or January, claiming her case is extremely complex. Her appeal for bail remains pending.
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[Featured image: Ghislaine Maxwell/AP Photo/Dominique Mollard, File]