Months after charging Ghislaine Maxwell with sex trafficking, federal prosecutors have found themselves in a seemingly never-ending battle with Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged madam over the fact that she’s stuck in jail and that jail is, well, terrible. But, clearly, it’s a battle that the government has no intention of losing.
Maxwell has been denied bail three times and was recently slapped with two new charges. On Tuesday, prosecutors also struck back at Maxwell’s allegations that she had been abused in the Brooklyn jail where she’s been held since her arrest last July.
Back in February, in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, Maxwell alleged that she’d been physically searched more than a thousand times—including, she said, one search where she was “physically abused” by jail guards out of view of cameras. After she reported the alleged abuse, Maxwell said the guards retaliated against her and forced her to clean a shower.
Now, in their own letter to Nathan on Tuesday, federal prosecutors say that’s not true. An investigation by the Metropolitan Detention Center—where Maxwell is being held—found that the search had been recorded, and that Maxwell had been asked to clean her cell simply because it was dirty, according to a court filing.
“Staff noted that the defendant frequently did not flush her toilet after using it, which caused the cell to smell,” prosecutor Audrey Strauss wrote. “In addition, the defendant had not cleaned her cell in some time, causing the cell to become increasingly dirty.”
Strauss also challenges Maxwell’s claim that she’s losing hair and weight in jail, saying that weekly check-ins have found that Maxwell has a normal weight for a person of her height.
Strauss’ letter—the latest in a long, long series of court filings arguing over the conditions of Maxwell’s imprisonment—arrives just days after Maxwell lost her third request for bail. In her latest attempt, the one-time heiress offered to surrender both her French and British citizenship, and cobbled together a proposed bail package worth an eye-popping $28.5 million.
But Maxwell is simply too great a flight risk, according to Nathan. “There are no combination of conditions that can reasonably assure her appearance,” Nathan wrote in her order denying Maxwell bail.
Prosecutors have also recently leveled two new sex trafficking charges against Maxwell.
Their new indictment filed on March 29 accuses Maxwell of meeting and grooming a 14-year-old girl to participate in sexual acts with Epstein between 2001 and 2004. Epstein and, at times, Maxwell, allegedly paid this girl to provide Epstein with “sexualized massages.”
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors have handed almost 3 million pages of evidence against Maxwell to her lawyers, Newsweek reported. It’s unclear how much of the case against Maxwell the public will ultimately be allowed to see: In March, Nathan ruled that parts of a transcript in the case would remain redacted because releasing it would only fuel a “craving for that which is sensational and impure.”
In total, Maxwell is now facing six sex trafficking charges and two perjury charges. Her trial is tentatively set for this summer. And it looks like, despite her best efforts, Maxwell will stay in jail until it happens.