A lawyer for Ghislaine Maxwell, the one-time girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, has said her client faces more restrictive conditions at a New York City federal prison than inmates convicted of terrorism or murder.
Bobbi Sternheim told a Manhattan judge that Maxwell is awoken every 15 minutes to ensure she is breathing, despite the 48-year-old having no history of mental health issues or suicidal ideation and no criminal history.
Ms Sternheim asked a judge to intervene on her client’s behalf to improve her conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn.
In her request, Ms Sternheim made no direct reference to Epstein taking his life in August 2019 in his cell at a federal prison in Manhattan.
A spokesperson for prosecutors declined comment and a message for comment was sent to the Federal Bureau of Prisons press office.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to charges that she procured three girls for Epstein to abuse in the mid-1990s. She has been held without bail while she prepares for a July trial.
On Monday, prosecutors notified the judge that Maxwell was put in quarantine last week for 14 days after someone who works in her area of the jail tested positive for the coronavirus. She may not meet with her defense team during that period.
In their letter, prosecutors said the 13 hours a day Maxwell gets to review trial materials on a laptop computer is more time than any other prisoner is allotted.
The reference bothered Ms Sternheim, who said Maxwell faces burdens unmatched by other inmates and has been mistreated.
She noted that the latest production of evidence by prosecutors was over one million documents and Maxwell lacked enough time to study the material.