Longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell was moved to quarantine in prison because of exposure to COVID-19, prosecutors said in a new court filing.
Maxwell, 58, is being held in a federal prison in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on charges including conspiracy and enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sexual acts.
Prosecutors said in the Nov. 23 filing that a staff member who was assigned to work in the area of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) where Maxwell is housed tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
In response, jail officials implemented the same quarantine protocols that apply whenever an inmate has potentially been exposed to the virus.
The same day the staff member tested positive, Nov. 18, Maxwell was tested. The results came back negative. She was also placed in quarantine.
Maxwell will be held in isolation for two weeks. At the end of that time period, she will be tested again. If she tests negative again, she will be released from quarantine. She has not shown any symptoms of the new disease.
“During her time in quarantine, the defendant will be housed in the same cell where she was already housed before she was placed in quarantine, and medical staff and psychology staff will continue to check on the defendant every day. Like all other MDC inmates in quarantine, the defendant will be permitted out of her cell three days per week for 30 minutes. During that time, the defendant may shower, make personal phone calls, and use the CorrLinks email system,” prosecutors wrote in the filing.
“In addition, the defendant will continue to be permitted to make legal calls every day for up to three hours per day. These calls will take place in a room where the defendant is alone and where no MDC staff can hear her communications with counsel.”
One of the five attorneys representing Maxwell did not respond to a request for comment.
Maxwell has been held apart from the prison’s general population in an isolation cell but she has for about three months been allowed out of the cell from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. She’s been given access to a computer, is allowed to make phone calls, and can meet in-person with her lawyers up to three days per week, for multiple hours per visit.
Maxwell was arrested on July 2 in New Hampshire on charges related to Epstein’s sexual crimes. Prosecutors said Maxwell helped Epstein’s abuse of young, underage girls by recruiting, grooming, and abusing them for at least three years, from 1994 to 1997.
Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
Attorneys asked a federal judge the next month to let Maxwell go on $5 million bond, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented health risk to incarcerated individuals, and COVID-19-related restrictions on attorney communications with pretrial detainees significantly impair a defendant’s ability to prepare her defense. Simply put, under these circumstances, if Ms. Maxwell continues to be detained, her health will be at serious risk and she will not be able to receive a fair trial,” the lawyers wrote.
The judge denied the request and ordered Maxwell held without bond, agreeing with prosecutors that her massive wealth and web of connections around the world made her a flight risk.
The case in question is United States v. Ghislaine Maxwell, 20 Cr. 330. The trial is slated to take place next year.
Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.