US prosecutors have rejected a claim by Ghislaine Maxwell that she is being treated “worse” than other inmates at the Brooklyn federal jail where she is being held.
Maxwell, a close friend of the late financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, is behind bars awaiting trial on charges including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
The 58-year-old British socialite was arrested last month when FBI agents raided a property in New Hampshire.
In a letter to a US district judge earlier this week, Maxwell’s lawyers objected to her being subjected to “uniquely onerous” conditions, including 24-hour surveillance and numerous body scans, and said she should be treated like other pre-trial detainees.
They called her treatment in jail “a reaction” to Epstein’s jailing and death.
However, prosecutors said Maxwell was being isolated for reasons of “safety, security, and the orderly functioning of the facility”, and that it was appropriate to closely monitor new inmates facing a “strong likelihood” of many years in prison.
Maxwell’s lawyers also argued that they cannot properly investigate the charges against her because prosecutors will not tell them the identities of three accusers named in Maxwell’s indictment.
But prosecutors said it was “at best premature” to require they disclose the identities of the three alleged victims.
They added that they have acted “expeditiously” in turning over materials, and prison officials had agreed to give Maxwell 13 hours a day to review materials for her scheduled July 2021 trial, rather than the normal three hours.
Maxwell’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and eventually abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997, and committing perjury by denying her involvement under oath.
She was denied bail in July after prosecutors argued she was a high risk to flee because evidence against her was strong and she had access to millions of dollars.
Maxwell also has connections worldwide along with citizenship in the US, the UK and France.
Epstein, 66, was found hanged last August in a Manhattan jail, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
According to reports, the pair dated for a while but the relationship later turned into something akin to a close friendship.