Ghislaine Maxwell should be released on bail while awaiting trial for her alleged involvement in Jeffrey Epstein's child sex trafficking ring because of "the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on detained defendants", the British socialite's lawyers argued in Manhattan federal court papers filed on Friday.
Maxwell was arrested on July 2 in New Hampshire on charges she conspired with Epstein to sexually abuse minors and then lied to prosecutors about it.
Federal prosecutors are now arguing that Maxwell poses an "extreme" flight risk, citing her "three passports, large sums of money, extensive global connections", and should be held in custody until trial.
Maxwell has not yet entered a plea, but her lawyers wrote in Thursday's filing that she "has always vehemently denied that she was involved in illegal or improper conduct related to Epstein".
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Her lawyers' request comes days after NY federal prosecutors asked a judge to keep her in federal custody until her trial.
Her lawyers requested bond of $5 million U.S. and said her detention there put her at "serious risk" of contracting the COVID-19 disease.
Maxwell is a citizen of the United States, United Kingdom and France, prosecutors said, and she has traveled overseas frequently within the last three years. "Ms. Maxwell vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence".
Cohen claimed that Maxwell "maintained regular contact" with the federal government since the day after Epstein's arrest. Maxwell is the daughter of the late British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell.
The labyrinthine case against Epstein has implicated numerous elites of the world, including Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Elon Musk and Alan Dershowitz among others.
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Ms Maxwell's proposed bail package includes a $US5 million ($7.2 million) bond, the surrender of her passports, "stringent" travel restrictions, and home detention with electronic monitoring.
Maxwell's lawyers also claimed the government has not met its burden under bail reform laws to hold her in detention.
The Justice Department has added extra security precautions and placed federal officials outside the Bureau of Prisons in charge of ensuring there is adequate protection for Maxwell.
She would also have to surrender her travel documents: she carries British, French and USA passports.
The case is US vs Maxwell, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No 20-cr-00330.
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