A federal judge on Monday rejected Ghislaine Maxwell’s latest bail request, saying the defendant is a flight risk because of her “substantial international ties.”
Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of the late convicted sex offender and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, had offered to renounce her French and British citizenship in addition to having her and her spouse’s assets placed in an account that would be monitored by a federal judge.
The former proposed condition “should satisfy any concerns the Court may have that Ms. Maxwell may try to seek a safe haven in France or the United Kingdom,” Maxwell’s lawyer wrote in a bail application last month. “As a non-citizen, Ms. Maxwell will not be able to avail herself of any protections against extradition that may apply to citizens of those countries.”
“The latter condition will restrain Ms. Maxwell’s assets so they cannot be used for flight or harboring her outside of the jurisdiction of this Court. This should satisfy the Court’s concern that the proposed bond was not fully secured and left assets unrestrained that could be used for such purposes,” the lawyer added.
But U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, an Obama nominee, disagreed in the new filing.
“The Court concludes that none of the Defendant’s new arguments and proposals disturb its conclusion that the Defendant poses a risk of flight and that there are no combination of conditions that can reasonably assure her appearance. Thus, for substantially the same reasons that the Court denied the Defendant’s first and second motions for release, the Court DENIES the Defendant’s third motion for release on bail,” Nathan wrote in her 12-page order.
The court is not required to hold another hearing on potentially letting Maxwell go on bail unless it determines new information would have a material bearing on the issue, the judge added.
It’s not clear whether Maxwell would be able to renounce her French citizenship in a rapid manner and similar doubts exist concerning the offer to renounce her UK citizenship, according to the order. In both countries, it’s possible Maxwell could flee and successfully resist or forestall extradition.
Maxwell, 59, was charged in July 2020 with sex crimes including enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity and transporting a minor with the same intent. She is being held in federal jail in New York City. She faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.
Nathan’s latest order came a few days after she agreed to some redactions requested by both parties in the case, alleging some of the information was too “sensitive or confidential” for the public to see.