Prosecutors refuse bail for Ghislaine Maxwell, accusing Jeffrey Epstein’s spouse
Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her trial in which she was denied bail for assisting Jeffrey Epstein in the recruitment and eventual abuse of underage girls in federal court in Manhattan on July 14, 2020 in New York in this court sketch.
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Federal prosecutors on Friday asked a judge to deny Ghislaine Maxwell’s new bail motion. There are no conditions that could ensure that the British celebrity does not flee to avoid a lawsuit for alleged sexual abuse of Jeffrey Epstein by children.
“The defendant poses an extreme aviation risk,” the district attorney wrote in a Manhattan federal court, filed days after Maxwell’s proposal to be released from a federal prison in Brooklyn on $ 28.5 million bail.
“The criminal conduct described in the indictment remains incredibly grave, the evidence against the defendant remains strong, and the defendant continues to have extensive financial resources and foreign connections, as well as a proven ability to live in hiding over the long term,” so the prosecutor wrote.
The filing includes a letter with a statement from Annie Farmer, a woman who says Maxwell and Epstein sexually abused her.
Farmer wrote that she did not believe that she or “any of the women [Maxwell] exploited will see justice when released on bail. “
“She has led a privileged life and abused her position of power to live beyond the rules. Escaping the country to flee again would fit in with her long history of anti-social behavior,” wrote Farmer.
Maxwell denies having committed any crimes.
Judge Alison Nathan turned down Maxwell’s first offer of bail after she was arrested in July for recruiting and caring for several underage girls who were later molested by the late money manager Epstein, a former friend of hers.
Nathan said at the time that because of her citizenship in France and the UK and her significant wealth, she posed an extreme flight risk.
In her new bail motion, Maxwell requested the release of a bail package backed by a personal note of appreciation equal to the value of her and her husband’s declared assets, plus millions of seven more relatives and close friends should be secured.
Maxwell has suggested that armed guards make sure she stays in a residence in New York City and is monitored with an electronic device.
“Ms. Maxwell is firmly committed to her innocence and is determined to defend herself,” wrote her lawyers.
“All she wants is to stay in this country to fight the allegations against her, which are based on the unconfirmed testimony of a handful of witnesses about events that took place over 25 years ago.”
Prosecutors said on their file filed Friday that Maxwell’s new bail request largely “re-enacts” the arguments she made in July when her first bail application was denied.
And prosecutors said her offer to effectively waive extradition from France if she skipped bail was of no weight given that the French Justice Ministry had reiterated to prosecutors that the nation would not extradite its citizens for prosecution.
The file also noted that Maxwell’s bail application “now claims that her marriage would remain in the United States, but her application does not address the clearly inconsistent statements she made to Pretrial Services at the time of her arrest”, when she said it was her “‘in the process of her husband’s divorce.'”
“Accordingly, the defendant’s foreign connections, wealth, and ability to avoid detection continue to have a positive impact on detention,” the prosecutor wrote.
The 66-year-old Epstein died in a Manhattan prison in August 2019 as a result of a suicide by hanging. He had been arrested the previous month for federal sexual trafficking.
Epstein was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, and Britain’s Prince Andrew.