The family of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who allegedly helped groom young girls to be sexually abused by wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, have asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to improve her living conditions while she remains in jail during her trial.
In a letter to Garland, as reported by The Associated Press, the family requested he intervene “in the interest of justice and common humanity to change the shocking daily regime which Ghislaine is subject to …” The family petitioned Garland directly because, as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, he has ultimate responsibility over the agencies that handle Maxwell’s transportation to and from the courtroom, like the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as the Bureau of Prisons, who oversee Maxwell’s custody.
“Ghislaine’s physical welfare and her right to have proper and timely access to her counsel during the trial have been entirely overlooked,” the family’s letter reads. “On behalf of their sister, her brothers and sisters urge Attorney Garland to intervene immediately today to grant the simple, fair and just remedies requested.’’
Maxwell’s family asked that authorities stop using four-point restraints to shackle her hands, feet, and waist, when she is moved from her holding cell to the courtroom, saying that the shackles cause broken skin and bruising, among other “unnecessary trauma,” the AP reported.
The family requested she is provided a food pack and a bar of soap each day. They complained that Maxwell received “minimal sustenance” during the first week of her trial, and had no access to soap or hand sanitizer, despite the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Furthermore, the family wants Maxwell to be able to meet with her attorneys at least 30 minutes a day before and after trial proceedings, saying that she was only allowed to meet with her counsel in areas where they were likely to be heard by prosecutors.
Maxwell and her legal team have previously complained about the conditions in jail. The Daily Wire reported in December 2020 that Maxwell had lost a significant amount of weight and was losing her hair. The Daily Wire reported:
“While [Maxwell’s] weight may currently be fairly consistent, she had lost over 15 pounds, and she is sustaining hair loss,” wrote her attorney, Bobbi Sternheim in a letter to the judge overseeing Maxwell’s case.
Sternheim wrote the letter in response to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ own letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, in which it wrote that Maxwell is being properly cared for and that she is of a healthy weight.
“Since Ms. Maxwell’s arrival, she has been provided three meals a day in accordance with BOP policy and its National Menu,” Sophia Papapetru, a staff attorney for the prison, wrote in the letter defending Maxwell’s care, obtained by Fox News. “Her medical records show that she currently weighs 134 pounds, which fluctuates plus or minus 2 pounds.”
Maxwell also accused a prison guard of physically abusing her in February of this year, as The Daily Wire reported.
Maxwell’s trial began on November 29. She faces six counts for allegedly recruiting, grooming and abusing four underage girls with Epstein between 1994 and 2004, as well as engaging in “group sexual encounters” with an underage girl between 1994 and 1997. If convicted and given the maximum sentence, she faces a prison term of 70 years.
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