Ghislaine Maxwell has been placed on suicide watch just days before her scheduled sentencing for sex trafficking and conspiracy crimes, her lawyer said in a letter filed on Saturday.
Maxwell, 60, is set to be sentenced on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court after being found guilty of sex trafficking a minor and other charges related to a sprawling conspiracy to abuse young girls with the wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. According to CNN, she is currently being held at a federal detention facility in Brooklyn.
Attorney Bobbi Sternheim submitted a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathon on Saturday stating that the Metropolitan Detention Center had placed her client on suicide watch on Friday. According to Sternheim, Maxwell was removed from the general population, sent to solitary confinement, and placed on suicide watch without a psychological evaluation and “without justification.”
“I met with Ms. Maxwell today…” Sternheim said in the letter. “She is not suicidal.” Sternheim argued Maxwell’s sentencing needed to be postponed until the matter is resolved.
“If Ms. Maxwell remains on suicide watch, is prohibited from reviewing legal materials prior to sentencing, becomes sleep-deprived, and is denied sufficient time to meet with and confer with counsel, we will be formally moving on Monday for an adjournment,” Sternheim said.
Maxwell is due back in court on June 28. Federal prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 30 to 55 years in prison for Maxwell, arguing she “made the choice to sexually exploit numerous underage girls.” Maxwell’s lawyers, on the other hand, are requesting a sentence between 4.25 and 5.25 years.
Maxwell’s placement on suicide watch comes nearly three years after Epstein was found dead by apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail cell. Epstein was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges in July 2019 but died a month later. The facility has since been closed down.
Maxwell was found guilty in December of five federal charges, including: sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the 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 two of the conspiracy counts she faced were repetitive.
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