Lawyers of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell have released a photograph showing her bruised face in a US prison as she awaits trial on charges of sex trafficking.
Her legal team claims the socialite is being treated under worse conditions to other inmates due to the ‘Epstein Effect.’
The 59-year-old was arrested for procuring underage girls for convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to abuse. She denies all charges levelled against her.
Her attorney Bobbi Sternheim showed the New York judge a photo of Maxwell on Thursday and suggests she was injured while having to cover her eyes with a sock or towel at night and that guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn repeatedly flashed lights in her cell every 15 minutes to make sure she is breathing.
“Last night, she was confronted by MDC staff due to a visible bruise over her left eye, No guard addressed the bruise until Ms Maxwell, who has no mirror, caught reflection of her aching eye in the glean of a nail clipper.
“At that point, MDC staff confronted Ms Maxwell regarding the source of the bruise, threatening to place her in the SHU (Special Housing Unit) if she did not reveal how she got it,” said Sternheim in a letter address to Judge Alison Nathan.
Sternheim went on to add that Maxwell could not report the bruise because she feared retaliation and discipline.
“While Ms Maxwell is unaware of the cause of the bruise, as reported to medical and psych staff, she has grown increasingly reluctant to report information to the guard for fear of retaliation, discipline, and punitive chores,” Sternheim added.
Her legal team also suggested that Maxwell was being scapegoated for Epstein’s crimes following his suicide last year.
They have requested that guards should no longer check on her at night.
Maxwell lost her latest bail hearing on Tuesday on grounds that she is a flight risk and will remain in custody until her trial in July.