Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers have complained about the extensive surveillance that their client is under while behind bars. In court on Tuesday, her attorneys argued that Maxwell is having her sleep interrupted by guards with flashlights every 15 minutes. The guards are apparently checking to make sure that she’s still breathing.
This week, prosecutors revealed that Maxwell is currently in a 14-day quarantine after possible exposure to a jail staffer with Covid-19. She tested negative for the virus, but out of an abundance of caution, she is still being quarantined.
In a letter to Manhattan federal Judge Alison Nathan on Tuesday, Maxwell’s lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, said that Maxwell was threatened with seven more days in quarantine if she declined to take two additional nasal swabs to test her for the coronavirus.
Sternheim alleged that Maxwell was ordered to remove a Covid-protection mask for “an in-mouth inspection,” and was not given soap or a toothbrush when she began quarantine. He also said that due to the quarantine, she has trouble getting medical assistance.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 24, 2020
The quarantine has also not stopped individuals from coming into her cell to monitor her.
“An unidentified man entered to take photographs and a guard entered to search” Maxwell’s cell during quarantine, Sternheim wrote.
Sternheim’s letter says that Maxwell is a “non-violent, exemplary pretrial detainee with no criminal history,” or history of violence, mental health issues, or suicidal ideation.
Sternheim said that Maxwell is being treated worst than a terrorist.
Sternheim, in her own letter, wrote, “the letter presents an incomplete picture of Ms. Maxwell’s conditions of confinement.”
“The government highlights what Ms. Maxwell is permitted but not what she is denied: equal treatment accorded other inmates in general population,” the defense lawyer wrote.
“Ms. Maxwell has spent the [entirety] of her pretrial detention in de facto solitary confinement under the most restrictive conditions where she is excessively and invasively searched and is monitored 24 hours per day,” Sternheim said. “In addition to camera surveillance in her cell, a supplemental camera follows her movement when she is permitted to leave her isolation cell and is focused on Ms. Maxwell and counsel during in-person legal visits. And despite non-stop in-cell camera surveillance, Ms. Maxwell’s sleep is disrupted every 15 minutes when she is awakened by a flashlight to ascertain whether she is breathing,” the letter said.
The lawyer said that jail officials admitted that they were “unable to place her in general population for her safety and the security of the institution but [fail] to explain why she is deprived of all other opportunities provided to general population inmates.”
Cameron Lindsay, a prison consultant, and former MDC warden said that Maxwell is not only at risk because of her high profile friends, but also because sexual predators are targets for vigilante justice while behind bars.
“When you get someone so incredibly high profile as Epstein or Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been involved with children being harmed, that automatically makes them a target in the culture of jails and prisons,” Lindsay said.
At this point, it is suspected that the evidence recovered in the raid on Maxwell’s home will implicate many powerful figures.
Hopefully, the sensitive evidence that implicates high profile figures is already stashed away somewhere, so all of the guilty parties can see justice regardless of what happens with Maxwell’s case.