The lawyers representing Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with recruiting teenage girls for financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, wrote a motion to the federal judge assigned to the case requesting that she be released into the Metropolitan Detention Center’s general population so she can “meaningfully participate in her own defense."
The letter, obtained by Fox News, claims that Maxwell has been “treated less favorably than a typical pretrial detainee,” which they assume is the result of Jeffrey Epstein’s “apparent suicide attempt” in July 2019. The letter also claims that Maxwell has been “subject to suicide watch protocols” that include being “woken up every few hours during the night and being forced to wear special clothing.”
The lawyers point out that their client has never been a risk for suicide but has been kept out of the general population for 36 days.
Maxwell has been in custody for over a month and has been “held under uniquely onerous conditions,” the letter read. She is surveilled 24 hours a day by security cameras that are viewed by both "multiple prison guards, many of whom do not appear to be regular MDC personnel.”
“These prison guards constantly observe Ms. Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defense counsel,” the letter read. They claim the conditions in the jail are infringing on Maxwell’s Sixth Amendment right to participate in her own defense.
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.
Maxwell faces six counts of sex trafficking involving minors between 1994 and 1997. She has pleaded not guilty and the trial has been scheduled to begin in July 2021. Her attorney called the indictment at the time “meritless.”
A trove of documents released a few weeks ago seems to show she kept in touch with Epstein longer than was previously believed. She claimed at a bail hearing that she hadn't been in contact with Epstein for more than a decade.
But Epstein emailed her what seems to be a statement in January 2015, which was apparently prepared for her to use when asked about their relationship, according to the documents.
At one point, Epstein wrote: “You have done nothing wrong and I (would) urge you to start acting like it.” He suggested she go outside and hold her head high, “not as an (escaping) convict.”
The motion also seeks the identities of three alleged victims so they can better prepare the defense.
Her attorneys concluded the letter to Jude Alison J. Nathan, the federal judge in New York, by saying that they do not seek any special treatment for their client, but “she does ask that she not be specially disfavored” prior to her trial.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.