A New York judge rejected Ghislaine Maxwell’s request for house arrest on a $5 million bond, siding with the prosecution’s arguments during a Tuesday bail hearing that Jeffrey Epstein’s confidant—who said she would plead not guilty to six federal charges connected to sex trafficking and purgery—poses a significant “risk of flight” and should be detained pending trial.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Southern District of New York Judge Alison Nathan concluded that no bail proposal would be sufficient for Maxwell’s release: “The combination of the seriousness of the crime, the potential length of the sentence, the strength of the government’s case at this stage, the defendant’s foreign connections and the defendant’s substantial financial resources all create both motivation and opportunity to flee.”
During the hearing, Maxwell’s attorney Mark Cohen argued for her release on a $5 million bond, asking that the British socialite—accused of taking part in Epstein’s sex trafficking operations—be moved to a luxury Manhattan hotel for pretrial detention over concerns about contracting coronavirus in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe argued for her continued imprisonment at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, reiterating “serious red flags” including Maxwell’s French citizenship (France does not extradite citizens), “significant and unexplained wealth” that could allow her to live beyond the reach of extradition, a strong incentive to flee, proven ability to live in hiding and concerted efforts to conceal her whereabouts over the past year.
Maxwell reportedly attempted to flee the FBI when they came to arrest her at her New Hampshire home on July 2, and Moe said she learned Tuesday morning that Maxwell went by the alias “Jen Marshall” to buy the million-dollar New Hampshire home where she was arrested while pretending to be a journalist who wanted privacy.
Moe read a statement written by an alleged victim going by Jane Doe for the hearing that claimed “without Ghislaine, Jeffrey could not have done what he did,” as well as a statement from known accuser Annie Farmer who said she would feel unsafe if Maxwell was released.
Cohen responded by dismissing Doe’s claims as “spin, spin, spin” and denouncing the defense’s attempts to bring up “dirt” on a client he said “is not Jeffrey Epstein” and has been “the target of essentially endless media spin;” he also argued that Maxwell has not been hiding financial information from the court, though Judge Nathan determined that Maxwell has not been clear about her wealth.
“I’ve chosen to implore the court not to grant bond for Ms. Maxwell because I know the truth,” said a statement read by Moe, written by Doe. “I know what she has done. I know how many lives she has ruined. And I know she has nothing to lose, has no remorse and will never admit what she has done.”
Maxwell has been charged with assisting, facilitating and contributing to Epstein’s abuse of minor girls between 1993 and 1997. The indictment alleges Maxwell helped the disgraced financier “recruit, groom and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18,” with one alleged victim as young as 14. A lawsuit filed against Maxwell and Epstein by alleged victim Virginia Giuffre claimed Epstein forced her to have sex with powerful friends like Prince Andrew, who has repeatedly denied the claims.
Federal authorities moved last week to heighten security and precautionary measures protecting Maxwell at the detention center where she is being held. Feds reportedly took away Maxwell’s sheets and gave her paper clothes, in addition to ensuring there is always someone in the cell with her. These concerns follow the apparent suicide of Epstein while awaiting trial. An official coroner’s report shows Epstein used bedsheets to hang himself in his Manhattan prison cell, but suspicion quickly swirled when it was revealed that cameras in the prison were not working and guards were sleeping when Epstein killed himself.