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Crime Judge orders feds to explain frequent flashlight checks on Ghislaine Maxwell

07:05  30 april  2021
07:05  30 april  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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Accused child abuser Ghislaine Maxwell is roused by a flashlight every 15 minutes in her cell to make sure she hasn’t killed herself like Jeffrey Epstein — and subjected to more onerous conditions than the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ most dangerous inmates, her lawyers wrote Tuesday in a letter. “She is overmanaged under conditions more restrictive than inmates housed in 10South, the most restrictive unit in the MCC; or individuals convicted of terrorism and capital murder and incarcerated at FCI Florence ADMAX, the most restrictive facility operated by the BOP,” the filing states.

A federal magistrate judge overseeing the only active civil lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell and the estate of sex-offender Jeffery Epstein has ordered a temporary hold on the case until Maxwell 's criminal case is complete, finding that Maxwell 's right to a fair trial outweighed the alleged victim's pursuit of a timely resolution of her claims. "Should discovery in the civil action proceed, Maxwell would be forced to decide whether to defend herself by making pretrial disclosures and giving deposition testimony or to invoke her 5th Amendment privilege against self- incrimination," wrote U.S

A federal judge overseeing the criminal case of Ghislaine Maxwell on Thursday ordered the government to explain and justify the use of nightly flashlight checks of Maxwell's jail cell, which her lawyers contend are disrupting her sleep, harming her health and compromising her ability to prepare for trial.

a tattoo on his neck © Jane Rosenberg/Reuters, FILE

"Is Ms. Maxwell being subjected to flashlight surveillance every 15 minutes at night? Or any other atypical flashlight surveillance?" U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan asked prosecutors in a brief order Thursday. "If so, what is the basis for doing so?"

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A lawyer for Ghislaine Maxwell releases a photo that shows the British socialite with a bruise around her left eye, as prison guards demand to know how it occurred. Late on Thursday, Judge Nathan ordered prosecutors to explain by May 5 whether and why jail officials might be subjecting Ms Maxwell to nightly " flashlight surveillance", and whether she could receive "appropriate eye covering". Lawyers for Ms Maxwell have complained repeatedly about her confinement, saying the conditions undermine her preparation for her scheduled July 12 trial.

Three judges at a federal appeals court in Manhattan, New York, have refused a fourth request for bail from Ghislaine Maxwell , the disgraced British socialite and ex-girlfriend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell is currently jailed in Brooklyn as she awaits a trial in July for allegedly grooming underage girls for the late US financier Epstein to abuse in the 1990s and early 2000s. Markus had raised serious concerns during a hearing on Monday about Maxwell ’s jail conditions, including her complaints that guards wake her up every 15 minutes by shining flashlights in her cell.

Nathan's order came in response to a court filing from Maxwell's attorneys earlier Thursday, which included a photograph of Maxwell in jail with apparent bruising beneath her left eye.

Defense attorney Bobbi C. Sternheim contends in a letter to the court that Maxwell has no mirror and was unaware of the bruising until she "caught a reflection of her aching eye" in a nail clipper.

MORE: Ghislaine Maxwell claims jail guards seized her confidential documents

Maxwell was then "confronted" by staff at the Metropolitan Detention Center about the source of the bruise, "threatening to place her in the [Special Housing Unit] if she did not reveal how she got it," according to Sternheim's letter.

"While Ms. Maxwell is unaware of the cause of the bruise ... she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guards for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores. However, there is concern that the bruise may be related to the need for Ms. Maxwell to shield her eyes from the lights projected into her cell throughout the night," Sternheim wrote.

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An attorney representing Ghislaine Maxwell , the accused accomplice and ex-girlfriend of late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, asked a judge presiding over her sex crimes case to impose a pretrial gag order to protect the socialite’s chances of a fair trial. In a letter filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, the lawyer, Jeffrey Pagliuca, cited public comments made by Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss, the head of New York’s FBI office and lawyers for Maxwell ’s accusers. The comments, he said, show that an order is necessary to prevent “prejudicial pretrial publicity by the government, its agents, and

Ghislaine Maxwell , the former associate of late financier Jeffrey Epstein, suffered dual setbacks in a U.S. court on Thursday, as a judge authorized the release of new materials related to her, while another judge refused to block prosecutors and lawyers from publicly discussing her criminal case. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan directed the release of large portions of more than 80 documents from a 2015 civil lawsuit against Maxwell , the British socialite now facing criminal charges that she lured girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.

Nathan's inquiry about the flashlight surveillance comes after an appellate court on Tuesday quickly turned down Maxwell's appeal of three previous orders denying bail to the 59-year-old, an alleged accomplice of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Ghislaine Maxwell posing for the camera: Ghislaine Maxwell is seen in a photo that was included in a court filing filed with the United States Courthouse by her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim, in New York, on April 29, 2021. © United States Courthouse Ghislaine Maxwell is seen in a photo that was included in a court filing filed with the United States Courthouse by her lawyer Bobbi Sternheim, in New York, on April 29, 2021.

Maxwell has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, since her arrest last July. She pleaded not guilty last week to an eight-count superseding indictment that alleges she aided and conspired with Epstein in the sexual abuse of four minor girls between 1994 and 2004.

Oral argument before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday focused on Maxwell's claims that she is being singled out for harsh treatment by the federal Bureau of Prisons because Epstein died by suicide while in government custody.

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Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell complained on Monday that the pool of grand jurors who indicted her was not diverse enough, according to new court documents. Maxwell is facing charges in the southern district of New York’s Manhattan division relating to her alleged involvement in her late friend Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking of minor girls. However, she was indicted by a grand jury in the SDNY’s White Plains division before her 2 July arrest, as Covid-19 had limited grand jury proceedings in Manhattan.

A Manhattan federal judge on Wednesday evening agreed to postpone unsealing depositions related to the sex life of Ghislaine Maxwell until the alleged madam can file an appeal. The order by Judge Loretta Preska will, for two business days, block the release of documents that relate to a deposition If the circuit court does not order them to remain sealed, the documents will be made public Monday, according to Preska’s order . In her memo Wednesday evening, Preska also rejected Maxwell ’s request that she reconsider her own decision to unseal the documents. In a filing earlier Wednesday, lawyers

"She's kept up at night every 15 minutes with lights shined in her eyes so that they can check her breathing," argued David Markus, Maxwell's appellate lawyer. "She's not suicidal. There's no evidence she's suicidal. Why is the Bureau of Prisons doing this? They're doing it because Jeffrey Epstein died on their watch."

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A federal prosecutor, Lara Pomerantz, described the flashlight checks as "routine."

"My understanding is that the accommodations that have been made for Ms. Maxwell are based on [the Bureau of Prisons'] assessment of the defendant and her security, and the security of the institution," Pomerantz told the appellate court.

According to Nathan's order, federal prosecutors must consult with prison officials and report back to the court by next week.

Nathan has also ordered the prison officials to provide more information -- to the court and to Maxwell's lawyers -- about an alleged incident over the weekend, in which Maxwell claimed guards seized and examined her confidential legal documents. The legal counsel of the facility alleged that Maxwell violated policy by receiving documents from her lawyers during an in-person visit on Saturday.

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a painting of a person: British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell appears during her arraignment hearing on a new indictment at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, April 23, 2021, in this courtroom sketch. © Jane Rosenberg/Reuters, FILE British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell appears during her arraignment hearing on a new indictment at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, April 23, 2021, in this courtroom sketch.

Maxwell's attorneys said the claims by prison staff are "inaccurate."

"This allegation is reckless, false, and defamatory. At no time did counsel provide documents to Ms. Maxwell for her retention that did not originate from Ms. Maxwell," Sternheim wrote in a court filing late Thursday.

Maxwell's legal team has threatened legal action and sent a letter to the facility's lawyer demanding that all video and notes surrounding the Saturday visit be preserved.

MORE: Ghislaine Maxwell's brother insists she should be treated as 'presumed innocent': 'She is not Epstein'

In a letter to the court on Wednesday, the BOP acknowledged that they took possession of certain documents from Maxwell, but did not address whether the documents had been read or copied, The documents were returned to anorher of Maxwell's lawyers during a visit on Sunday.

Maxwell's trial is currently scheduled to begin on July 12. Her lawyers have asked the court to postpone until the fall or winter to allow them time to investigate and prepare for the allegations in the superseding indictment, which added two new charges and a fourth alleged victim.

The government opposes the delay, citing, among other reasons, the stress on the alleged victims ahead of the trial.

Federal civil rights charges filed against ex-cops in George Floyd's death .
The new charges come as Derek Chauvin awaits sentencing on his murder and manslaughter convictions.The federal indictment accuses Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, the three fired officers who are awaiting trial on state charges of aiding and abetting in Floyd's death, of depriving Floyd of his civil rights under color of law, meaning while acting in their capacity as police officers. The Department of Justice announced the indictments in a press release but did not provide further comment Friday.

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