Ghislaine Maxwell is on suicide watch but is not suicidal, she may have to postpone sentencing, lawyer says


Maxwell, 60, is set to be sentenced in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday after being found guilty of sex trafficking a minor and other charges related to a sweeping conspiracy to abuse young girls with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. She is currently being held in a federal detention center in Brooklyn.

Attorney Bobbi Sternheim said in the letter that Maxwell was abruptly removed from general population, sent to solitary confinement and placed on suicide watch on Friday without a psychological evaluation and “without justification.”

“I met Mrs. Maxwell today…” Sternheim said in the letter. “She’s not suicidal.”

CNN contacted the Bureau of Prisons to find out why Maxwell was placed on suicide watch.

It is unclear whether Maxwell has been placed on suicide watch due to his connection to Epstein.

Sternheim said a psychologist assessed Maxwell on Saturday morning and determined she was not suicidal. The attorney argues that Maxwell is unable to properly prepare for sentencing. A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.

“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, prohibited from reviewing legal documents prior to sentencing, deprived of sleep and denied sufficient time to meet and s talk to a lawyer, we will formally request an adjournment on Monday,” Sternheim said.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday asked a judge in a court filing to sentence Maxwell to 30 to 55 years in prison, arguing that she “made a choice to sexually exploit many underage girls.” Maxwell’s lawyers last week asked a judge to sentence her to between 4.25 and 5.25 years in prison, saying her difficult childhood made her vulnerable to Epstein and that she should not be given a sentence. severe punishment for his actions.

Epstein, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to prostitution charges in the state, was charged with federal sex trafficking in July 2019 but died by suicide in a Manhattan federal detention center a month later. The facility has since been shut down, possibly temporarily, to fix “issues”.

Maxwell, his confidante and former girlfriend, was arrested a year later and has since been imprisoned. Prosecutors say Maxwell helped Epstein set up a scheme to lure young girls into sex between 1994 and 2004.

She was convicted of five federal counts in December, including: sex trafficking of a minor, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy . However, she will only be sentenced on three counts after the judge presiding over her case agreed that two of the conspiracy counts she faced were repetitive.


cnn

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