Ghislaine Maxwell denied £21.2 million bail package

29 December 2020, 08:32 | Updated: 29 December 2020, 08:37

Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, has been denied a $28.5 million (£21.2 million) proposed bail package
Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, has been denied a $28.5 million (£21.2 million) proposed bail package. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, has been denied a $28.5 million (£21.2 million) proposed bail package.

US District Judge Alison J Nathan said Maxwell's imprisonment is necessary to ensure she faces trial on charges she recruited teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.

Ms Nathan did not immediately release an opinion explaining her reasoning, to allow defence lawyers and prosecutors to propose redactions.

Maxwell, the 59-year-old daughter of late press baron and MP Robert Maxwell, was arrested in early July and her first attempt at bail shortly after was also rejected.

She has remained at a federal jail in Brooklyn since Judge Nathan said there were no bail conditions that would ensure she would not flee.

The Metropolitan Detention Center where Ghislaine Maxwell is being held in the Brooklyn borough of New York
The Metropolitan Detention Center where Ghislaine Maxwell is being held in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Picture: PA

Maxwell's lawyers recently offered the new bail package, saying she and her husband were offering all of their wealth - 22.5 million dollars - and millions more in the assets of friends and family to secure bail. Maxwell's husband has not been publicly identified.

Her lawyers said Maxwell would remain in a New York City residence under 24-hour guard and would submit to electronic monitoring if the judge accepted the bail package.

They had complained that Maxwell was being mistreated by guards who wake her every 15 minutes at night and subject her to repeated unnecessary searches while failing to adequately protect her from an outbreak of Covid-19 at the prison.

Prosecutors said Maxwell still had access to significant wealth and was a high risk to flee because of her connections abroad - in addition to US citizenship, she holds citizenship in her native UK and France.

She has been charged with recruiting three teenagers as young as 14 for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997, and has also been accused of sometimes participating in the abuse. She pleaded not guilty to an indictment.

Epstein killed himself in August 2019 at a Manhattan federal prison as he awaited a sex trafficking trial.

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