A lawyer for Jesslyn Maxwell – a British social activist tasked with finding girls in the 1990s sexually assaulted financier Jeffrey Epstein – says her client is woken up every 15 minutes in prison to ensure she breathes.
the main points:
- A lawyer says Maxwell is actually being held in solitary confinement
- She asked the judge to intervene on Mrs. Maxwell’s behalf to improve her conditions
- Maxwell has been quarantined after a person working in her area tested positive for coronavirus
Attorney Bobby Sternheim told a Manhattan judge that Maxwell faced more restrictive conditions than prisoners convicted of terrorism or murder.
She said Ms. Maxwell has no history of mental health problems or suicidal ideation and no criminal history.
She asked the judge to intervene on her client’s behalf to improve her conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
In her request, Sternheim did not directly refer to Epstein who killed his life in August 2019 in his cell in another federal prison in Manhattan.
US District Judge Alison J. Nathan has directed defense attorneys and prosecutors to confer over the next week on Ms Sternheim’s request that a Brooklyn facility warden address these concerns directly.
The attorney said that Mrs. Maxwell remained in what was, in fact, in solitary confinement and that she was subjected to excessive and unfair searches and surveillance 24 hours a day, including surveillance with the camera in her cell and a camera tracking her movement whenever she was allowed to leave her cell.
A spokesman for the prosecution declined to comment. A letter has been sent for comment to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Maxwell is in quarantine due to the COVID-19 panic
Maxwell, 58, has pleaded not guilty to charges that she had brought three girls to Epstein for abuse in the mid-1990s.
She was detained without bail as she prepared for the July trial.
On Monday, prosecutors notified the judge that Ms Maxwell was placed in quarantine last week for 14 days after a person working in her prison area tested positive for the coronavirus.
She may not meet her defense team during that time.
Prosecutors said in their letter that the 13 hours Maxwell must have taken per day to review trial materials on a laptop computer was longer than the time allotted for any other inmate.
The signal annoyed Ms. Sternheim, who said Ms. Maxwell had faced unparalleled burdens from her other colleagues and was mistreated.
She indicated that the most recent release of evidence by the plaintiffs was more than a million documents and that Ms. Maxwell lacked sufficient time to study the materials.
She said Ms Maxwell was initially quarantined without soap or a toothbrush and that medical and psychology staff stopped examining her, failing to tell her the results of the COVID-19 tests or what to do if she developed symptoms.
Prosecutors said on Monday that her coronavirus test result was negative, and she will be tested again at the conclusion of the quarantine.
Zombie specialist. Friendly twitter guru. Internet buff. Organizer. Coffee trailblazer. Lifelong problem solver. Certified travel enthusiast. Alcohol geek.