Ghislaine Maxwell Is First Inmate To Get In-Person Lawyer Visit Since Covid-19
According to CNBC, Ghislaine Maxwell, the “British socialite charged with abetting Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of young girls, on Friday became the first federal jail inmate in New York City to receive an in-person lawyer visit since coronavirus restrictions took effect months ago.”
- Maxwell got that “visit in a Brooklyn jail even though many other inmates who have been held much longer there and in a Manhattan federal jail have been unable to receive visits from their own attorneys because of Covid-19 rules,” CNBC reported.
“I know it’s the first in-person visit,” said Sean Hecker, an attorney involved in litigation over conditions and visits at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where the "wealthy Maxwell has been held without bail in solitary confinement since early July,” the report said.
- Hecker tweeted that this was “absurd & unjust.”
“It is outrageous that the first in-person visit would be granted to a well-heeled British socialite who the president of the United States stated that he wished well,” said Hecker. “It only serves to confirm that our government doesn’t understand that they operate two different systems of justice, one for the well-heeled and well-connected, and one for everyone else.”
- Hecker “said he independently learned of the visit and knows that it was the first to either federal jail in the city,” according to CNBC. Hecker, who represents the Federal Defenders of New York, a nonprofit group of lawyers who defend indigent clients in federal criminal cases, said “federal officials have recently discussed allowing a number of inmates at the jail to start getting visits from their lawyers. But he noted that the visits would be limited at first to just one lawyer and only for one hour.”
- However, Maxwell “got a visit from two lawyers for three hours,” he said. Hecker was angry, and he questioned why the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) “would allow her more liberal terms for a visit than the agency had discussed with lawyers for the Federal Defenders, if only because the public perception of such disparate treatment ‘is so entirely problematic.’”
- “During the pandemic, access to legal counsel remains a paramount requirement, but the BOP needs to reduce the risk of exposure created by external visitors,” a spokesman for the BOP said.
“As such, while in general legal visits are suspended, case-by-case accommodations will be accomplished at the local level and confidential legal calls will be allowed in order to ensure inmates maintain access to counsel. We are facilitating attorney client-visitation, as well as judicial proceedings, via video conference, primarily at our detention centers,” the spokesman continued.
- Maxwell’s lawyers this month “lost their bid to have her moved to the jail’s general population and to be subject to less restrictive supervision than she has experienced in the jail,” CNBC wrote. “The lawyers, who did not respond to a request for comment Friday, had said the conditions were making it difficult for Maxwell to prepare for her trial next year.”
- Maxwell has pleaded not guilty in her case, “in which she is charged with recruiting and grooming several underage girls, one as young as 14 years old, in the mid-1990s, so that they could be abused by Epstein,” the report added. “She and the wealthy investor Epstein years ago had been friends with Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as with Britain’s Prince Andrew.”