Ghislaine Maxwell has been using a sock to hide her eyes from guard checks, court told

·2-min read
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Ghislaine Maxwell, confidant of notorious child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein who is facing her own charges related to the abuse of minors, has reportedly been using socks as makeshift eye masks to block flashlight beams from prison guards that wake her up every 15 minutes during the night.  

Ms Maxwell was arrested last year and faces six federal charges, including sex trafficking, enticement of minors and perjury. 

Guards at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in New York have reportedly been checking on her every 15 minutes throughout the night by shining a flashlight into her cell, which wakes her up. The prison said it conducts the checks to ensure she is still alive. 

Epstein reportedly committed suicide while awaiting trial in the jail, prompting widespread condemnation by both lawmakers and the public. 

Ms Maxwell's lawyers have repeatedly tried to secure her release on bail, even offering a $28.5m bail so she could await the rest of her trial at her home. 

The attempts have been denied due to Ms Maxwell - who has both British and French citizenship - being a flight risk. She has offered to renounce her UK and French citizenship to secure a release, but she has been denied.  

Prosecutors claim that the 15 minute checks are routine and that Ms Maxwell has been given a sleep mask to allow her to sleep through the monitoring. However, her lawyers claim the checks are not routine, and that she has not been given any masks. 

“The idea that she has an eye mask is wrong. She either uses a sock or a towel to block out the light on her own,” her lawyers said in a filing on Monday.

One of the judges on the three-member panel reviewing the appeal questioned the prosecution's claims. 

“It’s routine to shine a light to the eyes of every prisoner? Are you really telling us that?” Judge Pierre Leval said.

Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Her trial is set to begin on 12 July, but that date may change as her defense has requested more time to review droves of new evidence added to the case in recent weeks. 

Watch: Ghislaine Maxwell 'ready to fight' ahead of trial says lawyer

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