Ghislaine Maxwell Denied Bail by Judge Who Says She Poses Flight Risk

December 29, 2020 Updated: December 29, 2020

Longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell was denied bail on Monday, with a judge saying there would be a risk of her fleeing the country if she were released.

“The court concludes that the government has met its burden of persuasion that the defendant poses a flight risk and that pretrial detention continues to be warranted,” District Judge Alison Nathan, an Obama nominee, wrote in an order.

The full order and an accompanying opinion includes potentially confidential information, so the judge is permitting the parties two days to propose and justify any redactions. After the judge weighs those proposals, the full opinion and order will be published on the court docket.

Maxwell, 59, was ordered held without bail in July by Nathan, who found at the time that “no conditions or set of conditions could reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance at future proceedings.” Maxwell is being held at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal prison.

Maxwell is incentivized to flee if released, given the court’s strong case against her, according to prosecutors. They noted her “extensive international ties,” her citizenship in two foreign countries, and her wealth as amplifying factors.

Maxwell went into hiding after Epstein, accused of trafficking and abusing underage girls, was arrested in 2019, authorities said. They arrested her on July 2 at a 156-acre property in Connecticut that was purchased through an anonymized limited liability company.

Maxwell was charged with enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, conspiracy to commit both of those offenses, and perjury in connection with a sworn deposition. Prosecutors said she helped Epstein exploit girls as young as 14, playing a critical role in grooming the minors.

“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,” Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement at the time.

Epoch Times Photo
An exterior view of the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City on July 14, 2020. (Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
Ghislaine Maxwell
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell arrives at Epsom Racecourse on June 5, 1991. (Chris Ison/PA via AP)

Maxwell pleaded not guilty and her lawyers have called on the court to allow her release.

They presented a proposed $28.5 million bail package earlier this month. Maxwell would be under armed guard 24 hours a day in part to ensure she doesn’t flee New York, according to the proposal.

“Ms. Maxwell is proposing an expansive set of bail conditions that is more than adequate to address any concern regarding risk of flight and reasonably assure Ms. Maxwell’s presence in court,” her lawyers wrote in one court filing.

Prosecutors disagreed, asserting the proposal merely repackaged prior arguments that were rejected by the judge over the summer.

“The offense conduct outlined in the indictment remains incredibly serious, the evidence against the defendant remains strong, and the defendant continues to have extensive financial resources and foreign ties, as well as the demonstrated ability to live in hiding for the long term,” they wrote. “In short, the defendant poses an extreme flight risk, no condition or combination of conditions can reasonably ensure her appearance in this district, and the court should not alter its prior finding to that effect.”

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