Ghislaine Maxwell moved to Brooklyn detention centre ahead of bail hearing


Ghislaine Maxwell has been moved to a New York jail ahead of a bail hearing on Friday, where a court will decide if she remains in detention ahead of a trial in which she faces charges of facilitating the sexual abuse of minors.

Prosecutors allege that Ms Maxwell, 58, lured and groomed underage girls so that they could be abused by her former boyfriend and associate, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

She was arrested on Thursday at her luxury home in New Hampshire, and moved on Monday to the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Epstein was arrested in July last year for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his cell at a Manhattan jail a little over a month later. The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide, but Epstein’s lawyers dispute the finding.

Ms Maxwell is expected to make her first appearance in federal court in Manhattan on Friday for a bail hearing. She will be held at the Brooklyn detention facility until then.

The Brooklyn jail has been in the spotlight in recent weeks following the death of an inmate after correctional officers sprayed him with pepper spray.

A week-long power failure at the jail in January 2019 sparked unrest among shivering inmates. In March, the jail had the federal prison system’s first inmate to test positive for coronavirus.

Prosecutors have said Ms Maxwell poses “an extreme risk of flight” and they are expected to ask that she be detained ahead of a trial. Last week they outlined some of their arguments to keep Ms Maxwell detained, such as her wealth, extensive international ties, and the likelihood of a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

The indictment against her passed up by a grand jury in Manhattan, stated that she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse the victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18.”

The indictment also alleged some of the victims were as young as 14, with the abuse starting from “at least in or about” 1994 to about 1997.

Ms Maxwell could potentially serve up to 35 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges against her.

She has previously repeatedly denied wrongdoing and called some claims against her “absolute rubbish.”

— With agencies