Politics

Alleged Jeffrey Epstein procurer Ghislaine Maxwell desires to ask for bail once more and needs a closed listening to

Ghislaine Maxwell speaks at the Arctic Circle Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland in October 2013.

The Arctic Circle via Reuters

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British celebrity accused of procuring young girls for abuse by sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, is about to reassign bail in her criminal case and wants appropriate trials to be held out of the sight of reporters, victims and the public federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday.

58-year-old Maxwell has been held without bail in a Brooklyn federal prison since shortly after her arrest in July when a judge ruled she posed a significant aviation risk. Maxwell's attorneys asked that she be released for a $ 5 million bond earlier this month.

In a petition from a federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors said Maxwell is likely to "re-petition for bail."

And their lawyers are calling for "sealing and a closed hearing" in connection with this motion, the prosecutors wrote. Such a hearing would prevent public participation.

The prosecutors refused a sealed hearing in their filing "to discuss further seal requests from the judge".

They found that any request to have the names of people sealed, such as those who might co-sign Maxwell's bail, "can be made in writing with closely coordinated editors."

Prosecutors said that given this option, they saw no reason to hold a hearing "without the opportunity for the public or the victims in this case".

"Given that crime victims have the legal right to be present and heard at any trial relating to the & # 39; release & # 39; of the accused, the government would object to any trial involving aspects of a new one Application for bail, which was carried out completely behind camera. " the filing said.

The prosecutor's letter refers to sealed documents that Maxwell's attorney filed earlier this week about the bail and sealing requests.

Maxwell has been in prison since last week for being exposed to an employee who tested positive for the coronavirus. She tested negative for Covid-19, prosecutors said in a previous file.

Maxwell's attorney Bobbi Sternheim did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Last week, Sternheim complained to Judge Alison Nathan that Maxwell was being "overwhelmed" by prison staff. This includes having guards holding a flashlight interrupt her sleep every 15 minutes to see if she is still breathing.

Sternheim also said Maxwell did not have enough time to review documents related to her criminal case and "prepare to defend her life."

Nathan on Wednesday ordered attorneys from the Metropolitan Detention Center, the facility where Maxwell is detained, to respond to Sternheim's concerns by Friday.

Maxwell is charged with allegedly recruiting and caring for several underage girls who were sexually abused by wealthy money manager Epstein in the 1990s.

She is also being charged with perjury for falsely denying her awareness of the sexual misconduct of her ex-boyfriend Epstein and her alleged role in it during a civil filing.

She was arrested in a million dollar hideout in New Hampshire almost exactly a year after Epstein's own child trafficking arrest.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the case. She is due to be tried next July.

Epstein, who was friends with Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, died in August 2019 in a federal prison in Manhattan of a suicide officially classified as suicide. He previously pleaded guilty to Florida state crimes in 2008, which included paying for sexual services from an underage girl.

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