Maxwell complained through her lawyers on Tuesday about the “uniquely onerous conditions” she is dealing with behind bars, which include round-the-clock surveillance and limits on her access to a computer. Her lawyers asked a judge to move the 58-year-old Brit into the general population at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
They also want to know the names of three women accusing her of sexual abuse, citing the dozens — if not hundreds — of alleged victims.
Maxwell is awaiting trial for allegedly helping Epstein groom and sexually abuse underage girls over a 25-year period, often on his own so-called “pedophile island.”
The billionaire alleged rapist died at the same facility where Maxwell is being held over one year ago, on Aug. 10, 2019. Officials ruled the death a suicide.
“As a result of what occurred with Mr. Epstein, Ms. Maxwell is being treated worse than other similarly situated pretrial detainees, which significantly impacts her ability to prepare a defence and be ready for trial,” her lawyers wrote on Tuesday.
They also complained about round-the-clock monitoring of Maxwell — a measure that was in place but failed to stop Epstein’s death last year.
“These prison guards constantly observe Ms. Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defence counsel,” they said. “Until recently, Ms. Maxwell was subjected to suicide watch protocols, including being woken up every few hours during the night and being forced to wear special clothing.”
Maxwell’s lawyers say she has never been suicidal.
Maxwell is being held without bail at the jail after a judge ruled her to be an extreme flight risk.
She was arrested last month at her estate in New Hampshire, where prosecutors say she tried to hide from FBI agents by wrapping her cellphone in tinfoil.
She has pleaded not guilty to two counts of perjury and four counts related to transporting minors for illegal sexual acts.
Maxwell’s accusers were not named in the indictment filed in Manhattan federal court. Her lawyers say they need the names to properly investigate the allegations of abuse at residences in New York, Florida, Mexico and the United Kingdom. They point out that Epstein is accused of abusing hundreds of girls and women, so they need some help narrowing things down.
Maxwell is accused of recruiting and grooming the victims for abuse when they were under the age of 18.
Prosecutors must respond to the request by Thursday.
—With files from The Associated Press