An attorney for notorious British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who stands accused of recruiting underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, has penned a letter to a federal judge decrying her client’s treatment in prison.
The attorney is requesting bail for Maxwell, whose trial is set to begin on Nov. 29, for the sixth time. Maxwell has thus far been denied bail because she has been deemed a flight risk, Sky News reported.
This time around, attorney Bobbi C. Sternheim is claiming that Maxwell’s treatment in jail can be compared to that of Hannibal Lecter in the movie “The Silence of the Lambs.”
In the film, as you probably know, Lecter is incarcerated for murdering and eating people, so this might not have been the best route to take.
Maxwell, Sternheim wrote, “suffers from headaches and back pain and general physical weakness,” and also claims to have been “touched in a sexually inappropriate manner by corrections officers on multiple occasions.”
In short, her imprisonment “rivals scenes of Hannibal Lecter’s incarceration in the movie Silence of the Lambs, despite the absence of the cage and plastic face guard,” Sternheim declared.
“Many of the officers are openly hostile toward her and have mentioned having read the press and seen various television shows which amplify their hostility,” she added.
Sternheim also said a U.S. Marshals Service investigation is underway after a staff member allegedly threatened Maxwell, reportedly telling the accused madame, “You think you are special. You are not special. Remember you are in custody and the judge doesn’t care about you.”
I mean, Maxwell isn’t special; she’s the same as any other prisoner, and judges should regard both the accused and the accusers dispassionately in order to remain impartial — right? I’m sorry, this is still America, isn’t it?
Should Maxwell be granted bail?
Sternheim argued that Maxwell’s treatment is “reprehensible and utterly inappropriate for a woman on the cusp of turning 60 with no criminal record or history of violence” and that if she remains in custody “it is highly likely that she will not have the stamina to assist in her defence and endure the physical demands of a five-day per week, multi-week court proceedings.”
Maxwell is reportedly subject to “flashlight checks” every 15 minutes in her cell at the Metropolitan Correction Center in Brooklyn.
Remember, the point of this whole argument is to get Maxwell out of jail so she can await trial in a fancy Manhattan penthouse or perhaps jump bail and spend the rest of her days hiding out on some Greek island, which diminishes considerably the already slim chance that anyone might feel sorry for her, much less the judge who has denied her bail five times.
Every prisoner in the U.S. has the right to expect fair and constitutional treatment — including, ahem, Jan. 6 prisoners — and regardless of what Maxwell may have done, we hope that she can, too.
But the comparison to Hannibal Lecter certainly does Maxwell no favors — the public already views this woman as the cold, calculating accomplice of a notorious pedophile. Bear in mind that she’s also been accused of abusing young women herself.
Bringing to mind a fictional serial killer who literally feasted on human flesh does little to minimize the perception that Maxwell preyed upon innocent, vulnerable girls.
What’s more, Epstein’s “apparent suicide,” as Sky News astutely characterized it, drew outraged scrutiny from the public as well; in fact, few things have been more unifying in our otherwise highly divided times than the widespread belief that — say it with me now — Epstein didn’t kill himself.
Maxwell absolutely ought to be considered innocent until proven guilty and, again, we certainly hope she is receiving fair treatment, but forgive us for wanting her to stay behind bars until her trial.
I hardly think the court of public opinion will be very indignant to hear that she’s being checked on regularly to make sure she doesn’t also succumb to an “apparent suicide.”
It’s not up for debate that Maxwell is a wealthy, jet-setting socialite who has lived all her life in the lap of luxury and evaded charges for the role she allegedly played in Epstein’s sex trafficking ring for years.
This is a woman with enough money and connections to disappear.
Is anyone really convinced that she’s just trying to get out of jail for a few weeks? I doubt it.