NEW YORK – A lawyer for British social activist Gisline Maxwell, who is accused of finding girls in the 1990s for financier Jeffrey Epstein for sexual harassment, said Tuesday that his client wakes up in jail every 15 minutes while she sleeps.
Attorney Bobby Sternheim told a Manhattan judge that Maxwell faces more control than prisoners convicted of terrorism or murder. Maxwell has no history of mental health problems or suicidal ideology and no criminal history.
She asked a judge to intervene on behalf of her client to improve her conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. At her request, Sternheim made no direct reference to Epstein taking his life in his cell at another federal lockup in Manhattan in August 2019.
U.S. District Judge Allison J. Snyder said the warden of the Brooklyn facility should discuss next week Sternheim’s request to resolve the issues directly. Nathan Defense ordered lawyers and prosecutors.
A prosecutor’s spokeswoman declined to comment. The message was sent to representatives of the Federal Bureau of Prisons for comment.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually abusing three girls for Epstein between 58 and 1990. She was arrested without bail while preparing for the July trial.
Prosecutors told the judge Monday that Maxwell was detained for 14 days after being tested positive for coronavirus by someone working in his area of the prison. She may not have met with her defense team during that time.
Prosecutors said in their letter that Maxwell had 13 hours more time per day than other inmates to review trial material on a laptop computer.
This reference offended Sternheim, as Maxwell faced unparalleled burdens with other prisoners and was abused. Prosecutors have more than a million documents of the latest evidence, and she noted that Maxwell did not have enough time to study the matter.
Maxwell was initially detained without soap or a toothbrush and medical and psychiatric staff stopped checking on her, failing to tell her the results of her COVID-19 tests or telling her what to do if she became ill. Prosecutors said Monday that her test result for coronavirus was negative and that she would be tested again at the end of her quarantine.
The lawyer said Maxwell was being held in solitary confinement and that she would search and monitor him vigorously and aggressively for 24 hours, including camera surveillance in her cell and a camera that would follow her movement whenever she was allowed to leave the cell.
“And despite the non-stop in-cell camera surveillance, Ms Maxwell falls asleep every 15 minutes to find out if she’s breathing when she wakes up by a flashlight,” she wrote.