Ghislaine Maxwell receives Covid vaccine and is fit to stand trial

Tom Ambrose
·2-min read
<p>Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse three girls</p> (PA Wire)

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse three girls

(PA Wire)

Paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell is fit to stand trial and has received a coronavirus vaccination, according to US prosecutors.

In a letter to district judge Alison Nathan, Maxwell is described as “fully vaccinated” and “in good physical health” - despite claims the Brit, 59, was suffering from hair and weight loss.

Prosecutors also rebuked an accusation made by her lawyers that she was abused by a jail guard during a search and forced to clean her cell as a punishment.

They said Maxwell, who faces charges that she helped enable Epstein’s sexual abuse of young girls, was told to clean her cell because of how messy it had become.

They wrote: “Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) staff directed the defendant to clean her cell because it had become very dirty.

“Among other things, MDC staff noted that the defendant frequently did not flush her toilet after using it, which caused the cell to smell.”

They added that all pat-down searches of Maxwell are recorded and that, after reviewing video footage, they did not belief an abuse had taken place.

Prosecutors also said prison staff had not detected “noticeable hair loss” and that Maxwell weighed 137.5 pounds last week - that her lowest recorded weight of 133 pounds was also considered normal.

“In short, MDC medical staff assess that the defendant is physically healthy,” the letter from U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss and other prosecutors said. It did not say when Maxwell was vaccinated.

Lawyers for Maxwell did not immediately respond to requests for comment by the Reuters news agency.

One of the lawyers, Bobbi Sternheim, had written on March 31 that Maxwell's detention was having a “deleterious effect on her health and well-being”, raising concern whether she would be “strong enough to withstand the stress of trial”.

Prosecutors said Maxwell is subjected to regular searches like other inmates at the Brooklyn prison and has up to 91 hours a week to review materials for trial, more than any inmate.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse three girls from 1994 to 1997.

She is awaiting arraignment on a March 29 indictment accusing her of sex trafficking of a fourth girl on Epstein's behalf from 2001 to 2004.

A trial is scheduled for July 12. Maxwell's lawyers have been considering whether to seek a delay.

Epstein, a financier, killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trail on sex trafficking charges.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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