Epstein Associate Seeks $28.5 Million Bail Package

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, driven by Britain’s Prince Andrew, leaves a wedding near Salisbury, England, in 2000. (Chris Ison/PA via AP, File)

MANHATTAN (CN) — In a newly unsealed letter, Ghislaine Maxwell has proposed a $28.5 million bail package in a renewed bid to be released from the Brooklyn jail where she has been detained for the last five months awaiting trial on criminal sex trafficking counts. 

Maxwell, the 58-year-old British socialite and former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, filed her renewed motion for release on bail from the Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn to home confinement in New York City under seal earlier this month. A redacted version of the 45-page request was made public late Monday. 

Maxwell was charged on a federal indictment in New York in July, nearly a year to the day that Epstein was arrested on sex-trafficking charges ultimately scuttled by his jailhouse death in August 2019.  

Announced by acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, federal prosecutors in New York charged Maxwell on six counts related to her alleged involvement with recruiting girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, sometimes with her participation.

Maxwell denies the charges, which if proven carry a possible sentence of 35 years.  

“Ms. Maxwell has no intention of fleeing,” her attorney Mark S. Cohen of New York firm Cohen & Gresser, wrote in the request to be transferred to home confinement awaiting trial. “If she did, then under the proposed bail conditions she would lose everything and destroy the family she has been fighting so hard to protect since Epstein’s arrest.”

Maxwell “resolutely and vehemently” denies the allegations and intends to fight the charges against her, Cohen wrote. 

Her attorneys argue in the letter that discovery evidence produced by the government lacks “meaningful” contemporaneous documentary evidence in support of the three accusers. 

“In sum, the discovery contains not a single contemporaneous email, text message, phone record, diary entry, police report, or recording that implicates Ms. Maxwell in the 1994-1997 conduct underlying the conspiracy charged in the indictment,” the letter states. 

Refuting the government’s assertions at the time of her arrest and U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan’s subsequent denial of bail in July, Maxwell’s letter argues that she does have significant family ties in the United States and that her financial records have been thoroughly disclosed, so that reasonable bail conditions can be set. 

The proposed $28.5 million bail package would include a $22.5 million personal recognizance bond co-signed by Maxwell and her unnamed spouse, secured by $8 million in property and $500,000 in cash. 

Seven of Maxwell’s friends and family would also co-sign five additional bonds totaling $5 million. 

In addition to these bonds, the private security company hired to provide 24/7 on-premises security services to Maxwell upon her transfer into home confinement would also post a $1 million bond in support of her bail application. 

According to the bail request, Maxwell will execute irrevocable waivers of her right to contest extradition in both the United Kingdom and France, where she holds citizenship.  

“The notion that Ms. Maxwell could somehow flee to a foreign country during a worldwide pandemic (presumably, by plane), while being supervised and monitored 24 hours a day and with the eyes of the global press corps on her every minute, without being caught, is absurd,” the letter states. 

Rebutting the government’s portrayal of Maxwell’s July arrest at a 156-acre property in Bradford, New Hampshire as a fugitive trying to evade capture by authorities, her attorneys argue in the bail request that Maxwell had been in ongoing communication with federal investigators since Epstein’s 2019 arrest and “was simply following the established security protocols to protect herself from what had been informed was an ambush by the press.” 

A graph showing media coverage of high-profile criminal defendants.

The letter also asserts that media coverage of Maxwell has “ruthlessly vilified her and prejudged her guilt” in vastly more publications than the disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, convicted drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, and movie producer Harvey Weinstein each received following their respective high-profile arrests.  

In August, U.S. District Judge Nathan denied Maxwell’s request to be released from strict solitary confinement to the general population at the MDC Brooklyn facility and granted privileges given to other pretrial detainees. 

According to the letter, at the time of filing the Bureau of Prisons had reported that 80 inmates and staff at the jail tested positive for Covid-19.

The government’s reply to Maxwell’s renewed motion for release on bail is due Dec. 16. 

The redacted version of the motion blacked out the names of Maxwell’s spouse of four years, as well as the names of close friends and family willing to co-sign her bonds.  

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