Judge denies Ghislaine Maxwell's bid to move into general prison population

Judge denies Ghislaine Maxwell's bid to move into general prison population
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Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite charged with facilitating the sexual abuse of girls by her late associate, financier Jeffrey Epstein, has been denied a request to be integrated in the general prison population.

U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan said that considering the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has given Maxwell the opportunity to “meaningfully participate” in her defense, there is no reason for her to be moved from isolation.

“The BOP is providing the Defendant with conditions that allow her access to discovery materials so that she can meaningfully participate in the preparation of her defense,” Nathan, an Obama appointee, wrote Tuesday.

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“Further action by the court as this juncture is therefore unnecessary. Should facts on the ground change such that the defendant is not being provided sufficient access to her legal materials, defense counsel may seek intervention by the court,” Nathan added.

The judge's ruling follows an Aug. 10 letter from Maxwell’s lawyers in which they objected to her round-the-clock surveillance and other “uniquely onerous conditions," asking for her to be transferred out of a high-security cell in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. 

Prosecutors earlier this month said that Maxwell was being isolated for her own safety and also granted her 13 hours a day to review materials for her case, which is scheduled to be heard in July 2021.

In the ruling Tuesday, Nathan also denied a request from Maxwell’s lawyers to unveil the identity of the three victims cited in the indictment against her, siding with prosecutors in saying the revelation would be “premature.”

“The court is mindful of the factors pointed to by the Defendant—in particular the fact that charges in this matter relate to conduct that allegedly took place many years ago—and anticipates that such a schedule would require the disclosure of alleged victims and witnesses substantially in advance of trial,” Nathan wrote. “But that alone does not justify such relief at this very early stage.”

Maxwell is being held without bail on charges surrounding Epstein’s alleged sexual exploitation of three girls, with prosecutors saying Maxwell was involved in or participated in abuse from 1994-1997 and committed perjury for lying to investigators in Epstein’s case.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.