Judge Again Denies Bail for Ghislaine Maxwell, Citing Serious Charges, Her Ability to Flee

A New York judge on Tuesday denied Ghislaine Maxwell's request to be released on bail ahead of her trial, saying she's a significant flight risk, reported the Associated Press.

The former Jeffrey Epstein associate is charged with allegedly helping to recruit teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 to 2004. If convicted she faces up to 80 years in prison. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

It was the fourth time that U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan has rejected a bail application for 59-year-old Maxwell since her arrest in July 2020. Previous applications were also rejected twice by a Manhattan federal appeals court.

Nathan cited her reasoning for the fourth denial, including that Maxwell was a "significant risk of flight" and her $28.5 million bail package would not guarantee an appearance in court, according to Reuters.

In the latest bail request, Maxwell lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said her client has endured physical and emotional abuse by jail guards. She also cited poor and unsanitary living conditions, insufficient nutrition, difficulties reviewing millions of legal documents and sleep deprivation.

Sternheim also claimed it's unfair for Maxwell to be locked up after former comedian Bill Cosby and former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein remained free on bail during their respective criminal trials, according to Reuters.

The jury selection process for Maxwell's trial began on Thursday. Prospective jurors meet with the judge next week for oral questioning to narrow down selections for 12 jurors and six alternates. Opening statements for the trial is expected to last six weeks are scheduled for Nov. 29.

Epstein was found dead in his cell in August 2019 at a Manhattan federal jail where he awaited a sex trafficking trial.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Trial, Jeffrey Epstein, Sexual Abuse
In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, center, listens during a court hearing flanked by her attorneys, Bobbi Sternheim, left, and Jeffrey Pagliuca, right, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, in New York. Maxwell was brought into a Manhattan courtroom for the lengthy hearing where U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan made a series of rulings over how the trial starting later this month will unfold. Elizabeth Williams/AP Photo

The judge made the bail rejection in a two-page order in which she also promised that Maxwell will be transported from her Brooklyn federal jail to her trial "in a way that is humane, proper, and consistent with security protocols." The judge said lawyers for the Metropolitan Detention Center assured these protocols in a sealed letter.

In arguing against bail, prosecutors wrote that the latest bail application "turns to rhetoric and anecdotes better suited to tabloids than briefs. Where legal arguments can be found, they are cursory and unpersuasive."

One of Maxwell's lawyers complained that she was brought to the courthouse last week for a hearing nearly six hours before its scheduled start and was poked by a guard to force her to wake up when she briefly fell asleep in a cold holding cell.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Audrey Strauss, Jeffrey Epstein, Trial
In this July 2, 2020 file photo, Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of Jeffrey Epstein and his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. Sex trafficking charges were added Monday, March 29, 2021 to the indictment against financier Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend as prosecutors alleged that she groomed a 14-year-old girl to recruit other young females in the early 2000s to provide “sexualized massages” to Epstein in return for cash. John Minchillo/AP Photo