“Despite continuous camera surveillance in the cell, Ms. Maxwell’s sleep is interrupted every 15 minutes when she is awakened by a flashlight to determine if she is breathing,” wrote attorney Bobbi Sternheim.
Maxwell, who is awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, is “in de facto solitary confinement under the most restrictive conditions,” according to his legal counsel.
Maxwell is “excessively and invasively searched” and monitored 24 hours a day, the treatment that his attorney says is more restrictive than that of prisoners convicted of terrorism or capital murder.
Sternheim requested that US District Judge Alison Nathan order the MDC director to address the court regarding Maxwell’s detention conditions.
Maxwell was quarantined earlier this week after a staff member working in her area of the detention center tested positive for COVID-19. The virus test came back negative and shows no symptoms, according to a letter from federal prosecutors filed with the court.
According to previous court documents, prison psychologists monitor Maxwell for several hours a day without her knowing.
The reinforced security follows Epstein’s death last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges at a different federal facility, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Epstein committed suicide. Two guards were napping and shopping online while they were supposed to be watching Epstein, according to prosecutors, who accused them of producing false records. The guards have pleaded not guilty.
Maxwell, 58, was arrested on July 2 and charged with recruiting, grooming, and ultimately abusing three alleged victims, including a girl as young as 14. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Judge Nathan denied Maxwell bail after finding her at risk of flight.
In August, the judge denied Maxwell’s request to be transferred to the general prison population, saying changes to her confinement were unnecessary at the time. His trial is scheduled for July.
Maxwell’s attorneys have argued that Maxwell has never been diagnosed as suicidal and the current conditions treat her unfairly.