There is a chance that socialite and alleged Jeffrey Epstein cohort Ghislaine Maxwell will be housed in the same Manhattan federal jail where Epstein is said to have killed himself while she awaits trial.
“In my experience, someone who is remanded would be held either at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan or at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn,” said Roland Riopelle, a former assistant U.S. attorney with the Southern District of New York, according to the New York Post.
Maxwell’s case is being prosecuted at the Southern District of New York, where she was also charged on Thursday.
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss was asked during a news conference on Thursday if any special precautions would be taken to ensure the defendant’s safety in custody.
“As you know, we are sensitive to that concern and certainly we’ll be in dialogue with the Bureau of Prisons about it,” she said in response to the question.
Riopelle noted that Maxwell may first spend her first week in the Special Housing Units section while they are being processed. However, due to her high-profile, she could remain in one of the units for a longer period of time.
“That is where particularly high-profile or particularly dangerous inmates sometimes go,” Riopelle said, adding that someone who is believed to be at risk from other inmates, including child predators, are sent to those units.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, warned in a memo that Maxwell has a “strong incentive” to leave the United States.
“That risk is only amplified by the defendant’s extensive international ties, her citizenship in two foreign countries, her wealth, and her lack of meaningful ties to the United States,” according to the memo. “Maxwell has three passports, large sums of money, extensive international connections, and absolutely no reason to stay,” it added.
As a result, she was ordered held without bail.
A medical examiner ruled that Epstein, 66, killed himself via hanging in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan in August 2019 after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges, although his death has been the subject of much intrigue and speculation. His brother, Mark, has questioned the official finding that the wealthy financier killed himself and hired an independent forensic pathologist to investigate the matter.
Epstein counted numerous high-profile individuals as friends, including politicians and business luminaries.
Charges against Maxwell include enticing a minor to travel to engage in sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and perjury. Officials said Maxwell and Epstein, starting in 1994, exploited young girls.
Maxwell is also accused of grooming and abusing minor victims in a number of locations including Florida, New Mexico, and New York, said prosecutors.
“Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, and then delivered them into the trap that she and Jeffrey Epstein had set. She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while, she was setting them up to be abused sexually by Epstein and, in some cases, Maxwell herself,” Strauss said in a statement of her arrest.