GHISLAINE Maxwell faces a year of searches and round-the-clock surveillance in solitary confinement as guards try to stop her killing herself like former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.
The 58-year-old yesterday lost a bid to be moved into the general population of the New York prison in which she is being held awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell is alleged to have played a central role in abuse carried out by paedophile financier Epstein, who killed himself last August while being held in another New York facility.
She was arrested at a home in New Hampshire at the start of last month and has been charged with enticement of minors, sex trafficking, and perjury, though denies any wrongdoing.
She is now being held at Manhattan's Metropolitan Detention Center.
The circumstances of Epstein's death meant she was initially placed on suicide watch, having to wear paper clothes and sleep on a bare mattress.
Those conditions have now been eased, but she remains in solitary confinement and in previous court filings has complained of "uniquely onerous conditions".
Dismissing Maxwell's transfer request, Manhattan judge Alison Nathan said there was "no evidence, and no reason to believe, that the surveillance measures are motivated by improper purpose".
The decision means Maxwell will remain in isolation from the rest of the prison's inmates and will be constantly monitored by prison staff.
Court filings made by Maxwell's legal team as part of the bid read: “She continues to be surveilled 24 hours a day by security cameras and by multiple prison guards, many of whom do not appear to be regular [Metropolitan Detention Center] personnel.
“These prison guards constantly observe Ms Maxwell and take notes on her every activity, including her phone conversations with defense counsel."
New York law protects against disclosure of a “confidential communication" between an attorney and his or her client.
The filing continued: "Her cell is [still] searched multiple times a day and she has been forced to undergo numerous body scans.
“It has become apparent that the [Bureau of Prisons'] treatment of Ms Maxwell is a reaction to the circumstances surrounding the pretrial detention and death of Mr Epstein.
“As a result of what occurred with Mr Epstein, Ms Maxwell is being treated worse than other similarly situated pretrial detainees.”
The filing added that Maxwell “has never been suicidal and was never diagnosed as exhibiting risk factors for suicide”.
Maxwell's lawyers applied for bail following her arrest and asked that she be transferred to house arrest, but the request was declined after prosecutors successfully argued that she was an "extreme flight risk".
The filing also claimed that current conditions were preventing Maxwell from preparing properly for her trial, currently scheduled for July 2021.
Lawyers asked for her to be allowed more time with a computer to study documents related to her case and to be “released to the general population and be granted the privileges given to other pretrial detainees”.
Speaking previously, Cameron Lindsay, a former warden at the prison, said conditions there could be "crushing".
“You go from living a life like Maxwell to all of a sudden being in a situation where you’re being strip-searched and having people look into your body cavities," he said.
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