U.S. says Ghislaine Maxwell should stay behind bars, deserves no bail

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FILE PHOTO: Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announces charges against Ghislaine Maxwel in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Friday said Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein charged with helping enable his sexual abuses, should remain in jail, and urged a federal judge to reject her proposed $28.5 million bail package.

In a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, prosecutors said the charges against Maxwell are "incredibly serious," the evidence against her is strong, and that she poses an "extreme flight risk."

Maxwell, 58, has been living in a Brooklyn jail since July, when she pleaded not guilty to helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls for sex in the mid-1990s, and not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement under oath.

Her trial is scheduled for next July, and she faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

In a bail application made public on Dec. 14, Maxwell proposed living with electronic monitoring in a New York City residence, and under 24-hour guard to ensure she remains safe and does not flee.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)