Ghislaine Maxwell‘s lawyer has claimed vermin droppings fell from air vents and raw sewage ‘permeated’ her cell in the latest complaint about her Brooklyn jail conditions.
Attorney Bobbi Sternheim compiled a bullet point list of complaints about Maxwell’s treatment inside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, in a court filing Tuesday night.
She claimed the stench of sewage in her cell was so bad that Jeffrey Epstein‘s alleged madam had to be moved to another cell.
Maxwell, 59, has been held behind bars at the Brooklyn jail since her arrest on July 2 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges.
She is expected to stand trial in November accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for convicted pedophile Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
The British-born socialite denies the allegations and has tried – and failed – five times to convince a judge to release her on bail, citing the allegedly squalid jail conditions.
Ghislaine Maxwell in a court sketch during her arraignment hearing on a new indictment at Manhattan Federal Court in April. Her lawyer has claimed vermin droppings fell from air vents and raw sewage ‘permeated’ her cell in the latest complaint about her Brooklyn jail conditions
Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein in 2005. Maxwell is accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for convicted pedophile Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004
Sternheim claimed Tuesday that Maxwell remains subjected to raw sewage, water deprivation, ‘hyper-surveillance’ by overbearing guards and other unacceptable treatment.
‘Last week, raw sewage permeated Ms. Maxwell’s isolation cell, necessitating her removal to another cell,’ Sternheim wrote, adding: ‘Vermin droppings fell from air vents.’
Sternheim also said guards are still able to read Maxwell’s confidential legal papers and monitor her meetings with lawyers, and that neither Maxwell nor her lawyers were allowed water during a four-hour meeting on Sunday.
Despite complaints about the inmate’s treatment, ‘little if anything has been done,’ Sternheim wrote.
‘The ever-changing rules are negatively impacting Ms. Maxwell’s ability to prepare for trial,’ Sternheim added.
‘The hyper-surveillance of Ms. Maxwell and counsel during legal visits is highly inappropriate and invasive.’
The attorney also pointed to comments made by Manhattan federal Judge Colleen McMahon in an unrelated sentencing.
McMahon had told the court there was ‘no excuse for the conditions’ in the two federal jails in New York City and said the facilities were ‘run by morons.’
‘[T]here is no excuse for the conditions in those two institutions… [Inmates]shouldn’t suffer for the incompetence of the United States Department of Justice and its subsidiary agency, the Bureau of Prisons,’ McMahon said.
Sternheim’s letter came in response to a June 7 letter from prosecutors that she said falsely suggested that Maxwell ‘is detained under favorable and privileged conditions.’
Attorney Bobbi Sternheim compiled a ist of complaints about Maxwell’s treatment inside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, (above) in a court filing Tuesday
The office of US Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan declined to comment.
US District Judge Alison Nathan, who oversees Maxwell’s case, on Wednesday directed prosecutors to release a redacted version of their letter by Thursday.
Maxwell’s defense team and family have filed a litany of complaints about her treatment in the detention center.
Earlier this month, her family claimed conditions breached United Nation rules around caring for prisoners as she had been ‘subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.’
They have previously claimed she is woken by guards every 15 minutes shining a light into her cell to check on her.
They also said her cell stinks of sewage and lacks drinkable water.
In April, her attorneys released a photo of Maxwell sporting a black eye inside the jail. They said she did not know how she got it but that it could have been from shielding her eyes in an attempt to sleep.
Her attorneys have branded her treatment ‘the Epstein effect’, as the Bureau of Prisons is under pressure to prevent her committing suicide after Epstein died on their watch in his cell.
Maxwell’s lawyers released a photo of Ghislaine Maxwell with a bruise under her left eye in April. It is not clear how she got the bruise, but Maxwell told lawyers it might have come from shielding her eyes during the nighttime checks
Prosecutors dispute the allegations that she is being treated differently to other inmates.
Maxwell was denied bail for a fifth time on June 2 – marking the second rejection by the appeals court, following three other rejections by her trial judge.
In the latest bail quest, Maxwell’s lawyers asked the appeals court to at least order the lower-court judge to conduct a hearing where evidence related to bail could be shown. The 2nd Circuit rejected that, too.
Maxwell’s trial was initially set to begin next month, however the trial date was pushed back after her lawyers requested more time to prepare.
Her trial is now expected to begin November 29.
She was arrested on July 2 when federal agents swooped on her home in Bradford, New Hampshire, aptly named Tuckedaway.
She was charged with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.
A courtroom sketch of Maxwell from July. Maxwell, 59, has been held behind bars at the Brooklyn jail since her arrest on July 2 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges
Epstein (with Maxwell in the early 2000s) died by suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan August 2019 while awaiting trial
The charges relate to the alleged grooming of three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein across London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.
Prosecutors say Maxwell also took part in some of the abuse herself.
In March, another indictment added a fourth teenage girl to the allegations and extended the years of the alleged conspiracy to 2004.
Two of the four women who say they were abused by Maxwell and Epstein say they were just 14 when they were recruited for sex.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges and faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan August 2019 while awaiting trial.
He had pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
His death was ruled a suicide but his attorneys and some family members claim he was murdered to stop him from sharing what he knows about other high profile, powerful people.