The US judge dismisses the $ 28.5 million bail for Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, who was arrested in July.
US judge refused bail to Ghislaine Maxwell on Monday, citing risk the British socialist could flee the charges she helped in the sex trafficking of girls by financier Jeffrey Epstein.
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan said federal prosecutors persuaded her that Maxwell “posed a flight risk” despite her proposed $ 28.5 million bail, and should remain in jail for “no conditions of release ”did not provide a reasonable guarantee that she would appear in court.
Maxwell, 59, pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and prepare girls as young as 14 for sex in the mid-1990s, and not guilty of perjury for denying his involvement under oath.
She was jailed in the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center after her arrest on July 2 at her New Hampshire home, where prosecutors said she was in hiding.
The proposed bail package included $ 22.5 million posted by Maxwell and her husband, as well as house arrest with electronic surveillance and 24-hour custody to ensure Maxwell remained safe and did not escape.
Maxwell’s attorneys wrote in documents filed by Manhattan Federal Court that prosecutors were “entirely wrong” and relying on “unsubstantiated innuendos” in their attempt to dismiss the significance of Ghislaine Maxwell’s marriage. Her husband’s name was redacted in court documents.
Maxwell said she wanted to stay in New York to clear her name, while her lawyers opposed prison conditions, including invasive searches and surveillance by guards with flashlights who woke her up every 15 minutes to make sure she was still breathing.
But Nathan, who rejected a $ 5 million bond for Maxwell in July, said none of the new arguments had a “material bearing” on whether Maxwell was a flight risk.
In opposing the bail, prosecutors cited Maxwell’s abilities to hide her wealth and escape capture, and the prospect that she could flee to France or the UK, where she is holding nationality and they said she might escape extradition.
Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted. His trial is scheduled for July 12, 2021.
Epstein, 66, committed suicide in a Manhattan prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
Former US Attorney General William Barr has criticized the mistakes of prison staff which he said contributed to Epstein’s death.