Family asks for better treatment for Maxwell as trial stretches on

The family of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of grooming and trafficking young girls for the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, has written a letter to Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandNewsom vows crackdown: Rail car looting like 'third world country' Tlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer Oath Keeper charges renew attention on Trump orbit MORE requesting that she receive better treatment during her trial.

In a statement obtained by The Associated Press, Maxwell's family asked Garland to stop authorities from placing her in four-point restraints when she is moved from her holding cell to the courtroom, arguing that they cause “unnecessary trauma." They also requested that she be given a food pack and a bar of soap every day.

According to her family, Maxwell was given "minimal sustenance" in the first week of her trial and did not have access to soap or hand sanitizer.

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“Ghislaine’s physical welfare and her right to have proper and timely access to her counsel during the trial have been entirely overlooked,” Maxwell's family said. “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.’’

As the AP noted, Maxwell's family has repeatedly spoken out against the conditions she is being kept in, claiming that her health has been negatively impacted.

Maxwell is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, according to The New York Times. Throughout her imprisonment, Maxwell and her attorneys have repeatedly requested bail. Several proposals were made to secure her release, including offers of Maxwell giving up her British and French citizenships as well as a bail package of nearly $30 million.

These requests have been denied, with Maxwell being deemed a flight risk. In November, Maxwell's siblings filed a complaint with the United Nations, claiming that the denial of bail was an act of "unprecedented discrimination."

The trial for Maxwell began last week, with the longtime Epstein associate facing one charge of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts, one count of sex trafficking a minor and three counts of conspiracy.

If convicted, Maxwell faces decades in prison.

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Last month, Maxwell's lawyer Bobbi Sternheim claimed that her client's prison conditions rivaled Hannibal Lecter’s. She also claimed at the time that Maxwell was being forced to live in "unsanitary conditions" and was receiving "insufficient nutrition."

"My weekly in-person legal visits with Ms. Maxwell are conducted under the most humiliating circumstances that I have ever experienced in many decades of federal criminal practice," Sternheim wrote in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan. "As disturbing and invasive as they are for no justifiable reason, I get to leave; Ms. Maxwell does not."

The Hill has reached out to lawyers for Maxwell for comment on the letter to Garland.

When reached for comment by The Hill, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) declined to comment on the confinement conditions of Maxwell due to privacy, safety and security concerns.

"The Bureau of Prisons is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all inmates in our population, our staff, and the public," the BOP said.

"Additionally, the BOP takes allegations of staff misconduct seriously and consistent with national policy, refers all allegations for investigation, if warranted. Incidents of potential criminal activity or misconduct inside BOP facilities are thoroughly investigated for potential administrative discipline or criminal prosecution."

This story was updated at 2:30 p.m.