Ghislaine Maxwell reported that the staff at the Brooklyn jail threatened her safety, leading employees to place her on suicide watch, prosecutors said Sunday, claiming there was no need to delay her sex trafficking charge.
Maxwell, 60, was sentenced to 20 years in prison following a conviction for assisting her then-boyfriend, Jeffrey Epstein, the world-renowned financier and convicted sex offender, in molesting girls between the years 1994 and 2004. Prosecutors have said she deserves between 30 and 55 years in prison, but only received 20 – ten less than they wanted at minimum.
Reuters stated that “the monthlong trial was widely seen as the reckoning that Epstein – who killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at age 66 while awaiting his own sex trafficking trial – never had. It was one of the highest-profile cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women to speak out about sexual abuse, often at the hands of wealthy and powerful people.”
In court filings on June 25th, Maxwell’s attorneys said she had been placed on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) and asked that her sentence be delayed. On June 26th, prosecutors argued that no delay was necessary because Maxwell had her legal documents and could have the same amount of sleep.
They stated that Maxwell was transferred after she reported threats to her safety by MDC staff to the inspector general of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Maxwell declined to specify why she feared for her safety, prosecutors said. She told the psychology staff that she was not suicidal.
Maxwell’s attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Bureau of Prisons has stated that it does not comment on the conditions of any particular inmate. Prosecutors said the prison warden would oversee an investigation.
“Given the defendant’s inconsistent accounts to the (inspector general) and to psychology staff, the Chief Psychologist assesses the defendant to be at additional risk of self-harm, as it appears she may be attempting to be transferred to a single cell where she can engage in self-harm,” prosecutors stated in a court filing.
Epstein committed suicide in 2019 in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial.
U.S. Circuit Judge Alison Nathan will hand down the sentence in the Manhattan federal court. Maxwell wanted less than 20 years, alleging that she is the scapegoat for Epstein’s crimes.
Photo: Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons and Ghislaine Maxwell, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons