A lawyer representing seven women who say they were abused by Jeffrey Epstein is worried Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell will end up dead.
“I have grave concerns that she doesn’t make it out of jail alive,” Spencer Kuvin told The Epoch Times.
“Just like Jeffrey Epstein, she is a very high-value target because of what she knows and who she can implicate. In addition to that, she should be on suicide watch. She’s not somebody who is used to life behind bars.”
Epstein, 66, was arrested on July 6, 2019, on sex trafficking charges. He was found unconscious in his jail cell inside the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center about a month later and declared dead.
New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson concluded that Epstein committed suicide, a finding disputed by Dr. Michael Baden. The forensic specialist, hired by Epstein’s brother, claimed that the neck injuries Epstein suffered weren’t commonly found in suicide by hanging.
“I think there’s a serious question about whether or not he killed himself,” Kuvin said, noting that two guards assigned to Epstein’s section both allegedly fell asleep on the night he died.
There were other irregularities: A camera pointing toward the outside of the cell reportedly malfunctioned while video footage from another camera in the area “no longer exists,” prosecutors Maurene Comey and Jason Swergold revealed in January.
Epstein was taken off of suicide watch several weeks before he was found unconscious, the Department of Justice said. The move was made after an evaluation by a psychologist, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told lawmakers in a letter last year.
Lawmakers pressed Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer in a hearing in November 2019 about changing the way high-profile inmates are handled, but she declined to say whether bureau officials were making any changes in the wake of Epstein’s death.
Maxwell, one of Epstein’s closest associates, was arrested in a small town in New Hampshire on July 2. She faces charges of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, among other charges.
Maxwell is being held in a different federal jail: The Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a jail holding approximately 1,560 inmates in New York City.
MDC Brooklyn declined to comment on how Maxwell is being held in light of Epstein’s death.
Kuvin said the Epstein victims he represents were relieved when they learned of Maxwell’s arrest, and they hope she’s not the only Epstein associate to face justice.
One of his clients was interviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office about Maxwell in Palm Beach, Florida. He declined to disclose details of what the client discussed.
The lawyer believes Maxwell, a British national who holds French and U.S. citizenship, will give information to prosecutors.
“I think she will. I certainly think she has information to trade. I certainly think she has a lot of information on other people,” Kuvin said.
“It’s standard practice in the business to trade information for a lighter sentence.”
Fund for Victims
The women who say they were abused by Epstein are poised to collect money from his estate if they file claims with the Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program.
A nine-month deadline to file started about two weeks ago.
Identities are kept shielded. Only lawyers representing the alleged victims and people handling the claims at the program know of their names and other information.
“I think it’s very important for people to understand that there is a compensation fund that is set up for the victims,” Kuvin said.
The monetary amount awarded to each woman will depend on a number of factors.
The fund has more than $500 million as of now to distribute after the U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Islands seized Epstein’s estate following his death. The attorney later transferred the assets to a neutral administrator, Jordy Feldman, who is in charge of the fund.
July 14 Hearing
Maxwell briefly appeared via teleconference in court last week before Magistrate Judge Andrea Johnstone in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire.
Maxwell waived her right to seek bond.
Maxwell’s case was switched to the Southern District of New York because she allegedly committed crimes in the district, according to a court filing.
She was transferred by U.S. marshals to the federal jail in New York on July 6.
Prosecutors initially asked for a July 9 court date. U.S. District Court Judge Alison Nathan said it was fine if Maxwell waived her physical presence.
Defense lawyers Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell said Maxwell would agree to appear via video conference but wouldn’t be available July 9, choosing the other date Nathan offered: July 14.
The remote arraignment, initial conference, and bail hearing is now slated to take place that day at 1 p.m.