NEW YORK — Ghislaine Maxwell just wants to be treated like men accused of sex crimes awaiting trial.
The alleged Jeffrey Epstein madam argued in court papers Thursday that Bill Cosby, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Harvey Weinstein were all treated better than she has been as they fought sex abuse charges.
“The truth is that wealthy men charged with similar or more serious offenses, many of whom have foreign ties, are routinely granted bail so that they can effectively prepare for trial,” Maxwell’s attorney David Oscar Markus wrote in papers filed with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Ms. Maxwell is entitled to the same opportunity as male defendants to prepare her defense.”
The legal brief noted that other rich defendants like Bernie Madoff and John Gotti were also granted bail while awaiting trial.
Maxwell wants the appeals court to reverse Judge Alison Nathan’s ruling denying her bail because she is a flight risk. The judge has rejected Maxwell’s bids for bail three times.
The 59-year-old British socialite has pleaded not guilty to charges of procuring and grooming underage victims for Jeffrey Epstein in the mid-1990s.
She’s being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn in conditions her lawyer described as “fitting for Hannibal Lecter.”
On Monday, prosecutors slapped Maxwell with a new charge of sex trafficking from 2001 to 2004, broadening the criminal case. Maxwell’s lawyer says the new allegations may require delaying her trial, which is currently scheduled for July.
Her family has complained that jail staff shine a flashlight into Maxwell’s cell every 15 minutes at night. Her lawyers say she’s unable to properly review 2.5 million pages of documents at the jail on the Sunset Park waterfront due to an assortment of coronavirus-related restrictions.
Maxwell’s hair is falling out and she’s losing weight, according to court papers. The harsh treatment is the result of the Justice Department’s failure to prevent Epstein from committing behind bars in 2019 while awaiting trial, she argues.
“Ms. Maxwell faces old, anonymous accusations that have never been tested. In any other case, she would have been released long ago. But because of the ‘Epstein effect,’ she is being detained and in truly unacceptable conditions. All we are asking for is a chance to defend the case,” Markus wrote.